Former Nissan Motor Co. chairman Carlos Ghosn was given a fresh arrest warrant Friday for allegedly having the Japanese automaker shouldering his private investment losses of some 1.85 billion yen (16.6 million USA dollars).
Following Friday's announcement by prosecutors, Ghosn's Tokyo-based lawyer Motonari Otsuru said his client maintains his innocence and hopes to restore his honor at trial, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Tokyo District Court, in an extremely rare statement Friday, cited overlapping points of contention and evidence between the two allegations as the reason for Thursday's decision, NHK said.
Ghosn was indicted on December 10 on charges of underreporting his compensation on Nissan's financial statement over a five-year period ending in March 2015. The court also rebuffed a move by prosecutors late Thursday to challenge the rejection of the extension. Carlos Ghosn has denied wrongdoing.
Greg Kelly, a former Nissan director accused of helping Ghosn under-report his income, was also indicted last week.
"The chances of bail are very high", said Nobuo Gohara, a lawyer and former prosecutor.
Ghosn's arrest in Tokyo last month on allegations of financial misconduct has rocked the global vehicle industry and put strains on the alliance he presided over between Nissan (NSANY) and Renault (RNSDF).
The companies declined to make any of the executives available for comment. The prosecutors office is scheduled to hold a media briefing at 4 p.m.in Tokyo.
"The prosecutors will file the complaint against this judge's decision immediately", he said.
"The case is, in fact, a single continuous one", the judge said. He was later charged with the same alleged financial crime over the past three years.
The Franco-Brazilian-Lebanese businessman is accused of transferring 14.5 million euros from Nissan accounts to another company for his own benefit.
Ghosn denies the charges and is in a "combative" frame of mind, according to sources at Renault, the company he still formally leads - even if the French auto giant has appointed an interim chairman.
"This might become a turning point that changes the impression of the special investigation department as being nearly sacred", said Yoji Ochiai, a former prosecutor who now works as a lawyer.
In a written response to Reuters, Renault said Kelly had "consulted several people at Renault and Nissan to establish whether it was legally possible that part of the CEO's compensation be paid by RNBV to reflect the time he spent working on alliance synergies".
Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors promptly sacked the tycoon as chairman but Renault kept him on and appointed an interim boss as it waited to assess the legal procedures against him.
Disagreements within the world's biggest automotive alliance that was spearheaded by Ghosn have all but exploded since his arrest.
Documents seen by Reuters showed that executives at both Nissan and Renault were involved in discussions about compensating Ghosn out of the public eye. There are nine board members, including Ghosn and Kelly. The French automaker holds a 43.4% (fully voting) stake in Nissan since the two entities became strategic partners in 1999. Saikawa was asked on the day Ghosn and Kelly were arrested whether a coup was underway at Nissan. The new allegation only applies to Ghosn, and Kelly could still be bailed out. He replied: "That is not my understanding".