Former Renault and Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn was today hit with a fourth charge by Japanese prosecutors who accused him of aggravated breach of trust.
Ghosn’s lawyers immediately met the charge with a bail request which came on the day his latest period of detention was set to expire.
“We are confident that we have the evidence to successfully prosecute all four cases,” an official from the prosecutor’s office said at a briefing after the indictment was announced.
Read more: Tokyo court extends Ghosn detention period
Ghosn has denied all four charges and said he is the victim of a boardroom coup. He has accused former colleagues of “backstabbing”, saying they are selfish rivals trying to sabotage a closer alliance between Nissan and its largest shareholder, Renault.
“Carlos Ghosn is innocent of the latest charges brought against him by the Tokyo prosecutors, aided and abetted by certain Nissan conspirators,” a spokesperson for Ghosn said.
Ghosn’s arrest has highlighted tensions between Renault and Nissan which formed an alliance in 1999 when the French carmaker invested in Nissan, which was then on the verge of bankruptcy, giving it control over its larger partner.
Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported today that Nissan is due to reject a management integration proposal from Renault and instead call for an equal capital relationship.
According to the latest indictment, Ghosn caused $5m (£3.8m) in losses to Nissan in the year to July 2018.
Prosecutors allege two separate transfers of $5m were made from the account of a Nissan subsidiary to the account of an overseas dealership. A total of $5 million was then moved from the dealership’s account to another account in which Ghosn had an interest.
The payments were “not necessary from a business standpoint”, Nissan said in a statement. “Such misconduct is completely unacceptable, and Nissan is requesting appropriately strict penalties.”
A court would likely rule on the bail request on Tuesday, Ghosn’s lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, told reporters.
Before Ghosn’s latest arrest, he had been out on $9m bail for 30 days. He is now being held in the same Tokyo detention center where he was detained for 108 days following his initial arrest in November.