TOKYO (Reuters) – Former Nissan Motor Co Representative Director Greg Kelly has been released on bail after more than a month in detention on financial-misconduct charges, as a Tokyo court rejected prosecutors’ request to keep the American executive in custody.
Media crews are seen on step ladders in front of the Tokyo Detention Center, where Nissan’s arrested chairman Carlos Ghosn and a former Nissan executive Greg Kelly are being held, in Tokyo, Japan December 25, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Kelly and Carlos Ghosn, the automaker’s ousted chairman, were detained upon arrival in Japan on Nov. 19 on suspicion of understating Ghosn’s income in financial statements for several years.
The arrests jolted the global car industry and strained Nissan’s alliance with French car maker Renault SA. Ghosn remains in custody.
A crowd of Japanese and international reporters and camera crews had gathered since Tuesday morning waiting for Kelly’s release. He left the Tokyo Detention Center with his lawyer, Yoichi Kitamura, by taxi at around 10:45 p.m. (1345 GMT), a Reuters witness said.
Kelly said in a statement that he had not falsified any documents and looked forward to restoring his honor in court, adding that he wanted to return to his family as soon as possible, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported.
There was no answer at Kitamura’s office when contacted by Reuters for comment.
The ruling by the Tokyo District Court came after an appeal by Kelly’s family in Tennessee. He paid bail of 70 million yen ($640,000) in cash, the court said.
But he could be barred from leaving Japan or talking to people related to the case, NHK said earlier in the day, although exceptions can be made for overseas travel on a case-by-case basis.
Kelly’s wife, Dee Kelly, appealed for his release in a video statement last week, saying her husband had been “wrongly accused as part of a power grab by several Nissan executives”, that he and Ghosn “fully believe that they did not break the law” and citing her husband’s need for surgery for spinal stenosis.
A Nissan spokesman said the car maker was not in a position to comment on the latest twist in the more-than-month-long saga.
“The company’s own investigation uncovered substantial and convincing evidence of misconduct, resulting in a unanimous board vote to dismiss Ghosn and Kelly as chairman and representative director. Our investigation is ongoing,” the spokesman said.
Both Kelly and Ghosn remain on the Japanese car maker’s board but without representative rights.
The court on Sunday extended Ghosn’s detention for 10 days, following fresh allegations of making Nissan shoulder personal investment losses.
Ghosn was re-arrested on Friday based on suspicions that around October 2008 he shifted personal trades to Nissan to make it responsible for 1.85 billion yen ($16.6 million) in appraisal losses, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors also said Ghosn had inflicted damage on Nissan by having it deposit a total of $14.7 million on four occasions between June 2009 and March 2012 into a related bank account.
Ghosn will remain in Tokyo’s main detention center, where he has been confined since his arrest in November, at least until Jan. 1.
($1 = 110.1300 yen)
Reporting by Chris Gallagher, Kiyoshi Takenaka, Naomi Tajitsu and Tim Kelly; Writing by Linda Sieg; Editing by Christian Schmollinger, Muralikumar Anantharaman and Kirsten Donovan
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A majority (70 per cent) of Canadians say they’re willing to forgo a higher salary in exchange for a workplace pension plan, according to a new survey for the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan by Abacus Data.
The survey, which polled more than 2,000 Canadian adults in April, signals an opportunity for employers to build back the post-coronavirus pandemic working landscape better by expanding access to good retirement plans — whether they’re defined benefit, defined contribution or group registered retirement savings plans, says Steven McCormick, senior vice-president of plan operations at the HOOPP.
According to the survey, a secure retirement remains of greater concern for Canadians than concerns about their health, debt load and job security. McCormick says this has been a consistent worry the HOOPP has seen in survey results over the past couple of years. Nearly half (48 per cent) of respondents said they’re very concerned about having enough money in retirement, while 31 per cent were highly concerned about their personal debt load and 26 per cent cited their job security. Close to half of respondents expressed high concerns for their physical (43 per cent) and mental (40 per cent) health.
In addition, the pandemic has harmed the finances of more than half (52 per cent) of Canadians’ surveyed and it’s had a particularly disproportionate affect on the finances of younger adults. Adults aged 44 and younger said they’re twice as likely (25 per cent) to have had their finances greatly harmed, compared to those over the age of 60 (12 per cent).
Generally, younger adults tend to work in roles that may have been impacted most by the pandemic, says McCormick, whether in service industries that were shut down or frontline health care that have been busy but don’t always come with access to a pension plan. “Affordability is an issue, so I think their worries increased during this time.”
And while almost half (46 per cent) of Canadians surveyed said they’ve saved more money than they would have since the onset of the pandemic, among these respondents, over half (52 per cent) didn’t put any of their savings toward their retirement. Overall, most (63 per cent) Canadians surveyed haven’t set aside or saved anything for retirement in the past year, a five-point increase since 2019.
McCormick says this may be due to uncertainty or hesitancy about whether people’s immediate needs outweigh longer-term needs. And with 55 per cent of respondents noting they were very concerned about the cost of day-to-day living, he adds that rising prices have fuelled insecurity and worries so people are creating their own emergency funds right now.
While there’s a segment of the population who’ve saved more and, for them, the pandemic has created wealth, he doesn’t see this as a common narrative in the survey data. “If you don’t have access to a workplace pension or the opportunity to have things like automatic enrolment, the uncertainty of the time may have you holding onto money,” says McCormick. “In Ontario, we’re more optimistic about the pandemic than we were maybe a month ago, but there are still people worrying about whether there’ll be a fourth wave.”
In addition, more than two-thirds (67 per cent) of respondents said a retirement crisis is looming and 65 per cent said saving for retirement is prohibitively expensive. It’s a common and shared dream for many people in looking forward to a secure retirement, says McCormick, noting for many, making that dream a reality remains elusive.