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Former Nissan Chief Arrested For The Fourth Time

Industry News / 7 Comments

Now he's been charged with another count of breach of trust.

Typically, you'd think, a suspect would be arrested, charged with whatever crimes of which he or she is suspected, and either released or held until trial. But Carlos Ghosn has encountered quite a different reality.

The embattled former chief executive of Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi has reportedly been arrested in Japan for the fourth time – and he's calling foul play. "It is part of another attempt by some individuals at Nissan to silence me by misleading the prosecutors," said Ghosn, according to Automotive News. " Why arrest me except to try to break me? I will not be broken."

This fourth arrest by Japanese prosecutors reportedly took place early this Thursday morning at Ghosn's residence in Tokyo. He was charged (for the second time) with breach of trust, this time over an alleged $34 million payment from his discretionary budget, spread over the course of years, to Suhail Bahwan – a close friend of Ghosn's and Nissan's distributor in Oman.

The arrest stems from an internal investigation conducted by the Japanese automaker over which he once presided, and alleges that part of the payment went towards purchasing a yacht for Ghosn's personal use, with some going towards a company owned by Ghosn's son.

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It remains unclear whether he's being held by authorities. Ghosn was initially arrested in November, and was just released less than a month ago after 108 days in detention. Now it appears he'll have to postpone a press conference that was scheduled for April 11, where Ghosn vowed to "tell the truth about what's happening."

"I was scheduled to present my story in a press conference next week; by arresting me again, the prosecutors have denied me that opportunity, for now, but I am determined that the truth will come out," said Ghosn. "I am confident that if tried fairly, I will be vindicated."

These latest charges come after three previously levied against him: two for allegedly falsifying financial reports to hide some $80 million in compensation, and a third for another count of breach of trust in which he's said to have illegally (and temporarily) moved $16.5 million to cover losses and his tracks. If found guilty of those three charges, he could face 15 years in prison, along with whatever sentence this latest charge could add to his rap sheet.