Former Nissan executive Greg Kelly got a belated Christmas present as he was released from a Tokyo Detention Center overnight after being held for more than a month over corruption allegations. Kelly was arrested along with Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn as they arrived in Japan via corporate jet on Nov. 19. They were accused of a variety of financial misdeeds, including allegations that Kelly assisted his boss in hiding tens of millions in pay.
Though prosecutors in Japan normally have just 10 days to retain a suspect, they found a way to keep the two men in custody by raising new allegations. Kelly’s attorneys finally convinced a court to end his detention, and the executive was released on 70 million yen ($633,699) bail. Ghosn remains in detention and won’t have a chance for release until Jan. 1.
According to the Associated Press, Kelly, wearing a beige jacket and glasses, walked out of the detention center and into a waiting black vehicle, where he was seated next to his lead attorney. He was expected to be taken to a local hospital for treatment of a chronic neck problem.
Kelly did not comment to the crowd of reporters who had gathered outside the detention center to witness his release. He did issue a statement, however. “I believe my innocence will be revealed in the trial,” he said. “I would like to have a judgment of non-guilty and restore my impaired reputation, and then return to my family as soon as possible.”
Ghosn has indicated through his attorney that he will hold a news conference following his own release and will stress his innocence tried and convicted, Ghosn could face up to 10 years in prison on each of the corruption charges. Kelly faces similar penalties.