Carlos Ghosn pays $9 million bail to escape ‘terrible ordeal’ after 108 days in prison

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Carlos Ghosn pays $9 million bail to escape ‘terrible ordeal’ after 108 days in prison
  • Former Nissan Chairman and Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn paid one of the largest bail fees in the history of Japan — 1 billion yen ($8.9 million) — to escape jail after 108 days on Wednesday.
  • Dressed like a Japanese road worker, Ghosn suggested he had been through a “terrible ordeal” but the story isn’t over for the former motoring titan as he moves to a court approved home in Tokyo.
  • His bail request came after two previously failed attempts to leave jail where the former executive was kept in solitary confinement and denied access to the outside world in a humiliating experience for the former CEO.

Former motoring titan Carlos Ghosn finally extricated himself from custody after 108 days in jail on Wednesday.

The Brazil-born ex-CEO of Renault and Chairman of Nissan Motors paid one of the largest bail fees in the history of Japan — 1 billion yen ($8.9 million) — to leave jail in Tokyo.

Flanked by security figures, Ghosn emerged from the jail wearing blue workman’s clothes, a baseball cap and a face mask as he heads to his new home, a court approved house in Tokyo.

The conditions of his bail will see him denied access to people overseas either by phone or computer, as well as the use of surveillance cameras, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Ghosn’s experience has been a humiliating one for an ex-CEO who commanded immense respect in the auto world, but not amongst his Japanese peers. Ghosn was accused of misreporting his salary and compensation in November having previously held top positions at the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Motors automotive alliance.

He was kept in solitary confinement for much of his stay in Japanese jail, with limited access to the outside world during his three and a half months locked up. The French-Lebanese former executive was only able to bathe twice a week, with 30 minutes a day exercise, whilse stuck in jail alongside terrorists who carried out the Tokyo subway attacks in 1995, according to Bloomberg.

Prosecutors in Japan had alleged that the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance chairman and CEO earned a salary of about 10 billion yen, or $88.7 million, from 2011 to 2015, but reported only half of that. Ghosn could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to 10 million yen if found to have committed any wrongdoing.

The executive was also accused of failing to report cash bonuses totaling about 4 billion yen ($35.6 million), according to Asahi Shimbun.

“I am extremely grateful for my family and friends who have stood by me throughout this terrible ordeal,” Ghosn said in a statement released Tuesday.

“I am also grateful to the NGOs and human rights activists in Japan and around the world who fight for the cause of presumption of innocence and a fair trial. I am innocent and totally committed to vigorously defending myself in a fair trial against these meritless and unsubstantiated accusations.”

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