A Japanese court has approved the release for detained former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn on ¥500 million ($4.5 million) bail. They got into a dark van without speaking and drove off, watched by dozens of journalists who had been waiting for his release for hours.
But later on Thursday, Tokyo deputy chief prosecutor Shin Kukimoto said the court's decision was "extremely regrettable" and Japanese prosecutors lodged an appeal against the bail, meaning Ghosn will have to wait further to see if he will be released.
The latest bail agreement follows 1 billion yen ($9 million) in bail that Ghosn posted for his earlier release.
Japanese media reports said the court is adding a new restriction, requiring advance notice of contacts between Ghosn and his wife, Carole Ghosn. Carole was questioned following Ghosn's re-arrest earlier this month on aggravated breach of trust charges.
He was initially released last month, but then re-arrested earlier this month on the new charges, returning to the Tokyo detention center where he had previously spent 108 days following his first arrest in November.
He also faces two charges of deferring some $80 million of his salary and hiding this in official documents to shareholders, and seeking to shift personal investment losses to the firm during the 2008 financial crisis. She has been a vocal proponent, appealing to public opinion and human rights groups about Ghosn's treatment.
Nissan lowered its profit forecasts for the fiscal year through March for the second time Wednesday, acknowledging the downward revision reflected the fallout from the Ghosn scandal, as well as slowing markets and rising costs in some regions.
Hironaka said he had expected the restrictions because bail conditions generally prohibit contact with people linked to the case.
Japanese social media and media were full of speculation over how Ghosn might appear when he leaves detention.
The dramatic case has thrown the worldwide spotlight on the Japanese justice system, derided by critics as "hostage justice" as it allows prolonged detention and relies heavily on suspects' confessions. Although prolonged detentions are routine in Japan, rearresting a person who has cleared bail is unusual.
Renault owns 43 percent of Nissan, while Nissan owns 15 percent of Renault.
In a video statement released April 9, Ghosn said a few Nissan executives plotted against him in "a conspiracy".
A Tokyo court set a new condition for bail that Ghosn can not meet or otherwise communicate with his wife Carole without prior permission, according to his defense lawyer. The allegations against him involve payments to a Saudi dealership, as well as funds paid to an Oman business that purportedly were diverted to entities run by Ghosn.