And now the show begins.
In a rarely-granted request, Carlos Ghosn was granted bail and released from detention, as he awaits trial for financial misconduct allegations that have been levelled at him by his former employers, Nissan. Ghosn was released yesterday evening and attempted to evade the media, donning a worker’s vest, a cap, sunglasses, and a surgical mask.
In addition to the ¥1-billion ($12.6-million) bail bond, additional conditions state that Ghosn is to remain the country with his passport held by his lawyers, and he will remain under tight monitoring throughout. His home in Tokyo, the only place he’s permitted to stay, has been outfitted with cameras to keep an eye on Ghosn, and its internet has been disconnected. He can only access a computer at his lawyers’ offices.
‘Third time’s the charm’ comes to mind with Ghosn’s bail granting, as he’s had two previous attempts at bail denied. His new legal team clearly has better bite than the last lineup, with new team boss Junichiro Hironaka famous for securing acquittals in high-profile cases. Ghosn will need all he can if he intends to exonerate himself through the Japanese legal system, which boasts a 99% conviction rate.
Ghosn’s charges of financial impropriety carry a penalty of up to 15-years in prison, should prosecutors successfully prove his guilt. The Lebanese-French-Brazilian has maintained no wrongdoing, and blames it all on a conspiracy within Nissan to derail the expected integration of the company with major stakeholder Renault, as well as third Alliance partner Mitsubishi.