The former Nissan chairman has reportedly been served a fourth arrest warrant based on a new financial misconduct allegation. He had been out on bail awaiting trial for allegedly misusing the carmaker’s funds.
Carlos Ghosn, the former Nissan Motor chairman, was arrested again by the Japanese authorities on Friday, this time on suspicion that he shifted more than $16 million in personal losses incurred a decade ago to the automaker. The rearrest of Mr. Ghosn dealt a setback to his hopes for getting released from the Tokyo jail where he has been held for more than a month on different charges. It also adds to the legal problems of an executive who once oversaw a sprawling automotive global empire that sold more than 10 million cars last year. The authorities rearrested Mr. Ghosn on suspicion of breach of trust related to a financial investment that tumbled in value during the 2008 global financial crisis, according to the Japanese public broadcaster NHK. The authorities said he had transferred the investment, a derivative contract, to Nissan from his personal asset management company. If he were charged and found guilty of the new accusations, Mr. Ghosn could face up to 10 years in prison. His lawyer in Japan could not be immediately reached for comment. Ghosn’s legal team had previously said he is willing to hold a news conference — most recently on Tuesday afternoon. Junichiro Hironaka, one of the attorneys representing Ghosn, told reporters the news conference would take place “in the near future” but declined to give a specific date. Ghosn’s choice of medium for announcing his news conference bewildered legal experts and observers: Why wasn’t the news delivered through his lawyers?
The move raises questions over Ghosn’s relationship with his legal team, Tokyo-based corporate lawyer Shin Ushijima said. But Ushijima added that it is unlikely that Ghosn acted unilaterally without consulting them. Mr. Ghosn’s family and representatives had been confident that he would be released on bail. They had already arranged the flight to Paris and for the French ambassador to bring Mr. Ghosn a sweater that would fit him after he had lost more than 15 pounds while in solitary confinement, according to two people briefed on the planning. Twenty minutes before the hearing, they heard Mr. Ghosn had been rearrested. The drama of their detention has riveted the Japanese news media. Mr. Ghosn, 64, who was credited with rescuing Nissan nearly two decades ago, was until recently a corporate star here. His downfall, as well as an expanding narrative of corporate intrigue and backstabbing, has been followed avidly. The case has roiled a carmaking empire that includes Renault in France, which owns a 43 percent stake in Nissan. Together they are in an alliance with Mitsubishi Motors of Japan. Until his arrest last month, Mr. Ghosn ruled over the alliance.