Japanese prosecutors re-arrested Nissan's former chairman Carlos Ghosn on fresh, more serious allegations of financial misconduct, dealing a blow to the auto titan's efforts to end his month-long stay in jail and seek bail.
One day earlier, the Tokyo District Court refused to extend the detention of Ghosn and company executive Greg Kelly. They allegedly understated Ghosn's executive compensation in Nissan's securities reports over a five-year period up to fiscal 2014.
Ghosn, Kelly and Nissan have been indicted over understating the high-flying vehicle executive's income by $43 million during the five years to March 2015.
Carlos Ghosn can be held for another 10 days in a Tokyo jail after prosecutors alleged he had passed on personal investment losses of $16.6m (£13.1m) to Nissan.
By detaining him longer, prosecutors are making it more hard for Ghosn to start mounting a defense.
Ghosn's arrest in Tokyo last month on allegations of financial misconduct has rocked the global auto industry and put strains on the alliance he presided over between Nissan (NSANY) and Renault (RNSDF).
Shin Kukimoto, deputy chief prosecutor for the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, brushed aside such criticism at a December 20 news conference and said the court's rejection would affect the investigation into Ghosn.
French car-maker Renault has so far not replaced Ghosn as CEO opting instead to put an interim governance in place. He was later charged with the same alleged crime covering the past three years. Friday's new allegation would allow prosecutors two days before seeking a likely court approval of extending Ghosn's detention up to 20 more days, meaning he would have to stay in the Tokyo Detention House until January 11.
If he is convicted over this, the sentence is the same but is more likely to result in time behind bars.
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Nissan has said its whistleblower investigation also uncovered personal use of company funds and other misconduct. The new allegation only applies to Ghosn, and Kelly could still be bailed out.
Ghosn's downfall is seen by some as a manoeuvre by others at Nissan to gain power in the alliance.
The dramatic turn of events came hours after Ghosn, through his lawyer and quoted by Japanese public broadcaster NHK, vowed to restore his good name in court and to hold a news conference after his release.
Then, between 2009 and 2012, Ghosn had a Nissan subsidiary transfer a total of $14.7 million into an account controlled by that person, the statement said.
The bail process makes it uncertain whether they will be let out of jail before the new year, said Kana Sasakura, a criminal law professor at Konan University in Kobe.
Nissan dismissed Ghosn as chairman and Kelly as a representative director.
The story of how Nissan was nearly on the brink of going completely bankrupt in 1999 and was only prevented by the timely intervention of Renault who made a decision to buy 40 percent of the shares and become a significant shareholder of the company is a very famous one.
The scandal has shaken the partnership between Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors Corp, with Saikawa calling for changes to weaken Renault's control over Nissan.