Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn has finally been released from a Japanese detention centre after paying one of the highest bail charges ever in the country of 1bn yen (£6.85m).
The ousted boss has served more than three months in prison over accusations of financial misconduct, but his release will give him more time to build a defence against the charges.
The 64-year old car boss was removed as chairman by Nissan and Mitsubishi following his arrest in November, and has been confined to a small, unheated room ever since.
Ghosn wore a blue cap and a gas mask to cover his face as he was escorted from the Tokyo detention centre where he has been held. He was greeted by his wife Carole and daughter Caroline, who were pictured following him out of the detention centre.
“I am innocent and totally committed to vigorously defending myself in a fair trial against these meritless and unsubstantiated accusations,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, a car from the French embassy – where Ghosn holds nationality – arrived where he was being kept. Hundreds of reporters, photographers and TV crews were gathered outside the facility, many of whom had camped overnight to secure positions before his release.
Over the weekend it emerged that Ghosn has volunteered to wear an electronic ankle tag and hire security to keep watch on him to secure bail.
The ousted Nissan chairman has also offered to post stock he owns in the company as collateral and hand over his passports as part of his second attempt to persuade Tokyo District Court to grant him bail.
He denies all charges of financial misconduct as he awaits a trial, which he said he would attend “not only because I am legally obligated to do so, but because I am eager to finally have the opportunity to defend myself”.
In December Renault said it would keep Ghosn as chairman and chief executive after its preliminary investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing.
Chief operating officer Thierry Bollore has taken over the day-to-day running of the car manufacturer during Ghosn’s detention.