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Tokyo court decides not to extend former Nissan chairman's detention

This article is more than 12 months old

TOKYO A Tokyo court yesterday unexpectedly decided not to extend the detention of Nissan Motor Co's ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn, paving the way for his release soon from jail where he has been confined since his arrest for alleged financial misconduct.

The Tokyo District Court said it also decided against extending detention for Greg Kelly, a former Nissan executive who was first arrested along with Ghosn on Nov 19. Lawyers for both men were not immediately available for comment.

It was unclear whether prosecutors will appeal the decision.

Mr Shin Kukimoto, deputy prosecutor at the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, said that his office will respond "appropriately".

Ghosn has been indicted for allegedly understating his income over a five-year period from 2010. He was re-arrested on Dec 10 for the same alleged crime covering the past three years. The 10-day detention period in the second instance ended yesterday.

The court had widely been expected to extend the detention, as granting bail to suspects who insist on their innocence is highly unusual in Japan.

Mr Masashi Akita, a defence lawyer in Osaka, said the court's decision could reflect a change in its attitude towards detention.

"They are very nervous about criticism of their lenient approach toward detention. This is a typical case of such changing, I suppose," he said. "I think this case has a big impact and effect on the Japanese justice practice, and such a move is favourable for the defence side." - REUTERS

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