A Japan court granted bail to the US businessman Greg Kelly, who was arrested in Tokyo on charges of aiding former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn in under-reporting his income generated from at Nissan and furnishing the same with the Tokyo Stock Exchange for years. He has been released from jail subsequently.
Arrested along with Ghosn and in detention since November 19, bail at 70 million yen ($635,000) was set by the Tokyo District Court for Kelly. The prosecutors had however appealed for extension of his detention which was rejected.
It was two weeks ago that the Japanese court had indicted Kelly and Ghosn on charges of collaborating for under-reporting Ghosn’s remuneration that he got from Nissan in the security filings by the company by about 5 billion yen ($45 million) over a five-year period ending in March 2015.
Nissan, one of the world’s top automakers, has been rocked by the arrest and the accusations. The incident has also soured and strained relationship of the Japanese car maker with its long time ally France’s Renault.
All allegations have been denied by Kelly. According to counter allegations named by his wife, Kelly had been targeted as a part of a power grab fight by executives in Nissan who had targeted Ghosn. Such allegations have been disputed by Nissan.
“I have not been involved in alleged false entry,” Kelly said in a statement issued through his lawyer. “I would like to have a judgement of non-guilty and restore my impaired reputation, and then return to my family as soon as possible,” he said.
According to his Tokyo-based lawyer, Ghosn has also claimed to be innocent.
Last month, Kelly was removed from his position of a representative director at Nissan while Ghosh was removed as the chairman of the company by its board.
Kelly was due to have surgery in early December for a spinal problem, his wife, Donna Kelly, said in a video statement. She also alleged that he was persuaded to fly from his home in Tennessee to Tokyo for a board meeting by a Nissan executive where he was arrested. Kelly typically participated in board meetings over the phone from the US. During his weeks in jail, the back problem, known as spinal stenosis, has worsened, his wife has also said.
Two weeks ago, of Kelly and Ghosn were arrested by prosecutors over additional allegations of under-reporting Ghosn’s income in the period from 2015 to 2017. This increased the period of detention for the former Nissan executives. But the path for obtaining bail was smoothed last week after a court rejected a request from prosecutors to continue detaining the two men over the second wave of allegations.
But Ghosn was soon rearrested by prosecutors on a new allegation of breach of trust which crushed hopes of release for him. Ghosn’s detention was extended till January 1 on Sunday by a court.
Kelly wasn’t rearrested on the breach of trust allegation.
(Adapted form WSJ.com)