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Ghosn's hopes of early bail dim after losing detention appeal

Tokyo

CARLOS Ghosn lost an appeal against his ongoing detention, diminishing prospects of an early release on bail for the auto industry icon fighting charges of financial misconduct while he was heading Nissan Motor Co.

The Tokyo District Court rejected the petition filed by Ghosn's defence team, according to a statement from the court shared with the media by the Foreign Press in Japan on Wednesday. The former Nissan chairman's lawyers will appeal the decision in a higher court, NHK reported.

Wednesday's decision by the judge means Ghosn could spend his time locked away in jail until an actual trial, which his main lawyer Motonari Otsuru has said may be as long as six months away. Ghosn's current custody ends on Jan 11, and prosecutors are likely to slap new charges or request another extension as they build a case against him.

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Ghosn stands accused of understating his income by tens of millions of dollars and transferring personal trading losses to Nissan, an allegation prosecutors call "breach of trust".

In his first public appearance on Tuesday since his Nov 19 arrest, Ghosn denied the wrongdoings in prepared remarks addressed to the court.

In his defence, the fallen titan offered a two-pronged response. Ghosn said that he had been wrongly accused and unfairly detained, terming the accusations "merit-less and unsubstantiated". He also painted a picture of a loyal company man who wouldn't dream of harming a corporation for which he had "a genuine love and appreciation". BLOOMBERG

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