Ousted Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn is set to make his first public appearance in seven weeks at a Tokyo court on Tuesday after he requested an open hearing to hear the reason for his continued detention. Ghosn has been held in a detention center since his Nov. 19 arrest on allegations of financial misconduct, which was followed by re-arrests over further allegations. The hearing will take place at 10:30 local time (0130 GMT) on Jan. 8, the Tokyo District Court said on Friday. The reason behind the timing of Ghosn's request was not clear.
Earlier this week, the court approved an extension to Ghosn's detention until Jan. 11, after re-arrest by prosecutors who accuse him of aggravated breach of trust in transferring personal investment losses to Nissan. Those allegations center on the use of company funds to pay a Saudi businessman who is believed to have helped him out of financial difficulties, sources said last week.
According to an article from The New York Times, Ghosn and his family assert that he is innocent. In remarks Ghosn made while under detention in Japan, he is reported to have said through his lawyer, "I want to have my position heard and restore my honor in court."
Former Nissan executive Greg Kelly, who has been charged with conspiring to under-report Ghosn's income, has been released on bail after the court ruled against extending his detention while he awaits trial.
Ghosn's arrest was followed by his removal from roles at Nissan and Mitsubishi. The case has rocked the auto industry and strained Nissan's ties with French partner Renault where Ghosn still remains chairman and chief executive. Renault has launched a search for an interim chief to fill Ghosn's roll at the French company as he deals with these legal cases in Japan.
The arrest has also put some of the practices of Japan's criminal justice system under international scrutiny, including keeping suspects in detention for long periods and prohibiting defense lawyers from being present during interrogations. (Reuters contributed to this report.)