No internet and cameras at the door: Ghosn’s bail conditions
TOKYO, Japan — To obtain his freedom, former auto tycoon Carlos Ghosn had to stump up more than just a cool one billion yen ($9 million) in cash.
He had to submit to various conditions that even his lawyer admitted might be “inconvenient” for the former jet-setting executive.
Nevertheless, the conditions proposed by lead defence lawyer Junichiro Hironaka did the trick after two failed bail bids by a previous attorney.
Those were rejected by the court on the grounds that Ghosn was a flight risk who could destroy evidence.
Prosecutors had strongly opposed his release, arguing that he could seek to contact others involved in the case.
If he breaks any of the conditions he could lose some or all of the $9-million bail, or even find himself back at the Tokyo Detention Centre before his trial — which could still take months to organize.
Here are some of the major conditions of Ghosn’s bail:
Ghosn may have walked free from the Tokyo Detention Centre that was his unwanted home for more than 100 days but there will still be significant restrictions on his movement while he is on bail.
He must stay in a residence in Tokyo designated by the court. A surveillance camera will be installed at the door.
Footage from this camera must be submitted to the court periodically.
He is not under house arrest, however, and is free to go outside to do his shopping.
He can even take short overnight domestic trips but needs the court’s permission if he wishes to be absent for three days or longer.
Stuck in Japan
The globe-trotting executive with residences all over the world will be restricted to Japan as part of the bail conditions.
According to the Japanese media, his lawyers will take possession of his passport, preventing him from overseas travel.
As the head of three massive car companies, Ghosn was always on the move and in constant contact with his office.
That will certainly change under his bail conditions.
He will be allowed access to a computer, but only at his lawyer’s office and the machine will not be hooked up to the internet, Hironaka confirmed to reporters.
He is allowed to make phone calls but his lawyers will submit to the court the list of all the outgoing numbers dialled — to prevent him making contact with a person of interest in his case.
He will not be able to use emails or the internet on any phone he uses.
Ghosn has on several occasions denounced what he sees as a “plot” within Nissan to bring him down and part of his bail requirements is that he should not meet with anyone involved in the case.
This includes his former right-hand man Greg Kelly, who was released on bail on Christmas Day but faces charges of conspiring to under-report Ghosn’s salary over a period of eight years.
However, according to local media, he could in theory attend a Nissan board meeting if he secures the court’s approval.
He remains technically a member of the board until an Exceptional General Meeting expected April 8 where shareholders will vote on ousting him. /ee
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