Carlos Ghosn posts bail, leaves jail

Carlos Ghosn left a Tokyo jail on Wednesday after spending 108 days in detention on allegations of financial misconduct.

Ghosn, the former head of Nissan and Renault, walked out of a detention center after posting bail of 1 billion yen ($9 million), according to TV footage. He wore a light blue cap, glasses and a face mask, revealing little of his face as he left the building surrounded by guards.

His bail conditions require him to stay in Japan and be closely monitored. An appeal by prosecutors against the decision to let him out was rejected late Tuesday.

One of the most prominent figures in the global auto industry, Ghosn is awaiting trial on charges he understated his income for years and abused his position by transferring personal investment losses to Nissan.

His downfall and prolonged detention have shocked the international car industry, created tensions between Nissan and Renault, and raised questions about Japan’s criminal justice system.

Ghosn has denied any wrongdoing. If found guilty, he could face as long as 15 years in prison.

“I am extremely grateful for my family and friends who have stood by me throughout this terrible ordeal,” Ghosn said in a statement Tuesday. He hired a new Japanese defense team last month after previous bail applications were rejected.

Since Ghosn’s arrest in Tokyo on November 19, he has been ousted from his role as the head of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors, which he had brought together to form the world’s largest alliance of carmakers. The group makes one in nine cars sold worldwide and employs more than 450,000 people.

Ghosn’s family members and attorneys have repeatedly criticized the conditions of his detention. They say he has spent months in solitary confinement and lost a lot of weight.

Lawyers for Ghosn in France said this week that they’ve submitted a report to the United Nations, claiming violations of Ghosn’s fundamental rights during his lengthy detention. They say he was held in “dehumanizing” conditions.

Japanese prosecutors say Ghosn, like other suspects, has been treated fairly in accordance with the law.

Ghosn will be monitored by surveillance cameras and face restrictions on his computer use while on bail, according to his lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka. He also can’t seek to destroy evidence in the case.

Ghosn is credited with steering Nissan away from financial collapse 20 years ago and became an iconic business leader in Japan. He claimed in January that his arrest is the result of a plot by other Nissan executives, who opposed his plan to deepen the Japanese company’s integration with France’s Renault.

A spokesman for Nissan on Tuesday declined to comment on the court’s decision to grant bail to Ghosn.

Nissan’s own investigation into its former chairman and CEO has “uncovered substantial evidence of blatantly unethical conduct,” the spokesman said, adding that “further discoveries related to Ghosn’s misconduct continue to emerge.”