Ex-Nissan boss arrested on new financial misconduct charges

Former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn has been rearrested in Tokyo on fresh financial misconduct allegations.

Authorities arrested the 65-year-old less after he was dramatically freed on bail last month in Japan following more than 100 days in detention.

According to local media, prosecutors entered Ghosn’s temporary accommodation in central Tokyo early on Thursday morning and he left with them by a car shortly afterward.

The arrest, which Ghosn termed “outrageous and arbitrary”, was the latest twist in a case that has gripped Japan and the business world since November.

“It is part of another attempt by some individuals at Nissan to silence me by misleading the prosecutors. Why arrest me except to try to break me? I will not be broken,” he said, insisting that he was innocent.

Reports emerged on Wednesday that prosecutors were weighing rearresting Ghosn as they investigate claims related to at least $32m in Nissan funds transferred to a distributor in Oman.

The former high-flying executive already faces three charges of financial misconduct related to allegations he under-reported his compensation and sought to transfer personal investment losses to Nissan’s books.

He has denied any wrongdoing and took to Twitter for the first time on Wednesday, using a newly created account that his spokespeople confirmed was authentic, to announce plans for a news conference.

“I’m getting ready, to tell the truth about what’s happening. Press conference on Thursday, April 11,” said the tweet, sent in English and then Japanese.

A Nissan spokesperson said the firm’s internal probe had uncovered “substantial evidence of blatantly unethical conduct” and that their focus was on “addressing weaknesses in governance that enabled this misconduct.”

Ghosn currently faces two separate charges of deferring his salary to the tune of nine billion yen ($81m) and not revealing this in official documents to shareholders.

The Brazil-born car sector pioneer, widely credited with saving Nissan from the brink of bankruptcy, also faces a charge of seeking to shift his personal investment losses onto Nissan’s books and then using company funds to pay a Saudi associate who stumped up collateral for him.

Ghosn was first arrested at a Tokyo airport on November 19 last year. He has since been rearrested on multiple occasions over a series of allegations, employed a little-used article of Japanese law to force a day in court and emerged on bail dressed in a workman’s uniform and cap in a bizarre attempt to avoid the media.

Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors removed Ghosn as chairman following his arrest while he stepped down as chairman and chief executive of Renault in January.

Nissan is set to hold an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting on Monday to remove Ghosn from the board and bring in Renault’s new chairman Jean-Dominique Senard as a new member.

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