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Ghosn to remain in detention for Christmas

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Carlos Ghosn will spend Christmas in detention. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

Carlos Ghosn, the former Nissan boss, will spend Christmas and New Year's Eve behind bars after a Tokyo court on Sunday extended his detention until 1 January.


The court's decision is the latest twist in a saga that has gripped Japan and the business world since his arrest in Tokyo on 19 November.

"A decision was made to detain Ghosn. The full term of the detention will expire on 1 January," the Tokyo district court said in a statement.

Ghosn's detention could last even longer as prosecutors can apply for a further 10-day extension while they question him on allegations of financial misconduct.

Authorities are pursuing three separate lines of enquiry against the 64-year-old Franco-Lebanese-Brazilian executive.

They suspect he conspired with the American businessman Greg Kelly to hide around half of his income over five fiscal years from 2010. They also allege he under-reported his salary to the tune of 31 million euros over the next three fiscal years – apparently to avoid criticism that his pay was too high.

The third allegation is that he shifted a personal investment loss made at the height of the financial crisis worth more than 14 million euros to the Japanese automaker with help from a Saudi acquaintance.

Prosecutors have pressed formal charges over the first allegation but not yet over the other accusations.

Ghosn has denied all the allegations, saying the transactions were done legally.

After his arrest, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors sacked Ghosn as chairman but Renault kept him on and appointed an interim boss as it waited to assess the legal procedures against him.

Ghosn's fall from power at Nissan has exposed a deep rift in the three-way alliance – which outsold all of its rival groups last year.

The tycoon was once revered for his role in turning around Nissan and forging the fractious alliance, in which Renault remains the dominant shareholder.

Some executives at Nissan – which now contributes more profits than Renault to the group pot – were said to bristle at the French company's leadership position.