Former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn left Tokyo prison on a $9 million bail on Wednesday, slipping past reporters in a face mask and moving nearer to mounting a defense against financial misconduct charges that he has referred as “meritless”.
Ghosn, one of the world’s most prominent auto executives whose dramatic rescue of Nissan about more than 20 years ago made him well known in the industry and in Japan, was detained in Tokyo Detention House for more than 100 days in a small cell with no heating.
Ghosn managed to avoid many of the reporters camped at the location before being whisked away in a small Suzuki van.
Ghosn paid the 1 billion yen ($9 million) bail, one of the highest ever in Japan, after the Tokyo District Court turned down a last-ditch appeal by prosecutors to keep him in jail.
Ghosn, also the former chairman of Renault and Mitsubishi Motors, has accepted to strict bail conditions and given assurances he will reside in Tokyo, surrender his passport to his lawyer and submit to extensive surveillance.
He has accepted to install cameras at the entrances and exits to his residence and is barred from using the internet or sending and receiving text messages. Ghosn is also banned from talking with parties involved in his case, and allowed computer access only at his lawyer’s office.
He deals with charges of aggravated breach of trust and under-reporting his salary by about $82 million at Nissan for almost a decade. If convicted on all charges, he faces a jail sentence of 15 years, prosecutors stated.
“I am innocent and totally committed to vigorously defending myself in a fair trial against these meritless and unsubstantiated accusations,” he stated on Tuesday.
Bruno Le Maire, finance minister of France, welcomed Ghosn’s release.