Tokyo court OKs release of Nissan's Kelly, rejecting prosecutors' appeal

Former Nissan Director Greg Kelly Granted Bail By Tokyo Court

Former Nissan Director Greg Kelly Granted Bail By Tokyo Court

Nissan Motor Co has instructed its employees not to contact ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn and his close aide Greg Kelly amid ongoing investigations by prosecutors into their alleged financial misconduct, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.

Tokyo District Court said the American Kelly will be released on 70 million yen ($635,600) bail.

Ghosn will remain in Tokyo's main detention center, where he has been confined since his arrest in November, at least until January 1. An appeal by prosecutors was rejected and Kelly was released late Tuesday night in Japan. He was expected to go straight to a hospital for treatment of his chronic neck problem.

The arrests have jolted the global vehicle industry and strained Nissan's alliance with French auto maker Renault SA. Ghosn has also denied the allegations and told lawyers that he is determined to prove his innocence in court, according to Japanese media reports.

Ghosn, 64, and Kelly, 62, were arrested on November 19 on suspicion of violating the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act for not reporting some 5 billion yen of the former chairman's remuneration from fiscal 2010 through 2014.

Prosecutors also said Ghosn had inflicted damage on Nissan by having it deposit a total of US$14.7 million on four occasions between June 2009 and March 2012 into a related bank account.

Following his release, Kelly will have to follow rules set by the court, including those regarding his residence and travel, prosecutors have said.

"I have not been involved in alleged false entry", Kelly said in a statement issued through his lawyer.

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Nissan's statement- which didn't name any automakers and was released on Christmas Day, when the offices of its European partners are closed - comes at a time when Renault asked the Japanese company to call a shareholder meeting to discuss corporate governance issues.

The court on Sunday extended Ghosn's detention for 10 days, following fresh allegations of making Nissan shoulder personal investment losses. But last week, a court rejected a request from prosecutors to continue detaining the two men on those allegations, paving the way for them to apply for bail. Mitsubishi took a measure similar to Nissan.

Kevin Kelly, who identifies himself as the son of Greg Kelly, said in a Twitter post, "It's clear that Saikawa is scared of the many people internally who are beginning to question the legitimacy of the accusations levied against my father and Mr Ghosn". He has since led Nissan's rise to the world's second-largest carmaker.

"The policy itself has not changed in any way, and the clarification does not refer to alliance partners, but rather to the company's holdings in certain other listed companies", Nissan said.

"We will investigate including the option of sale of the shares when continued possession of the shares is judged to be inappropriate as a result of verification of the propriety of such cross-shareholdings", Nissan's code also said.

Kelly suffers from spinal stenosis, causing numbness, tingling and shooting pain in his extremities, according to a video message last week from his wife, Dee Kelly, appealing for his release.

Kelly suffers from spinal stenosis with symptoms including numbness, tingling and shooting pains in the extremities, and he was to undergo surgery December 7 in Nashville, Tennessee, before his arrest, she said. "That is our family's Christmas wish".

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