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Carlos Ghosn could be released after Japan court says no to extending detention

Automotive executive Carlos Ghosn could be freed from jail in Japan after a Tokyo court turned down a request from prosecutors to extend his month-long imprisonment while awaiting trial over the alleged filing of false financial reports, Bloomberg News reported Dec. 20.

Ghosn's lawyers are planning to submit a bail application that could lead to his release as early as Dec. 21, but prosecutors have appealed the court's decision, Bloomberg reported.

Ghosn, former chairman of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., and senior aide Greg Kelly, have been in detention since their arrest Nov. 19 after the automaker notified prosecutors it had evidence the pair conspired to under-report Ghosn's earnings to the securities regulator and that Ghosn used company money to cover personal expenses. Prosecutors have since charged Ghosn and Kelly, as well as Nissan itself.

The shock arrest of one of the global automotive sector's best-known figures has strained the close ties Ghosn fostered between Nissan, which fired him from his chairman role after his arrest, and Renault SA, where he remains CEO and chairman. The two companies and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. cooperate on procurement, technology and manufacturing in a cost-saving alliance.

The French automaker's board has named an interim leadership team in Ghosn's absence but says it will stand by him until the allegations are substantiated. One report suggested Ghosn's arrest came just hours before he was to discuss the removal of Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa.