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The Latest: Van thought to carry Ghosn travels through Tokyo

March 6, 2019

TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on the release of former Nissan Motor Co. chairman Carlos Ghosn from the Tokyo Detention Center after he posted 1 billion yen ($8.9 million) bail (all times local):

5:40 p.m.

A small van believed to be carrying Carlos Ghosn is making its way through the streets of Tokyo following the Nissan Motor chairman’s release on bail.

A man who strongly resembled Ghosn was seen leaving in the silver van from the Tokyo Detention Center after he posted 1 billion yen ($8.9 million) bail. He was surrounded by security guards and was wearing a surgical mask, glasses, a hat and a construction worker’s outfit.

The van had a ladder on top and was followed by ten motorcycles riding in formation. While the van, motorcycles and possibly other vehicles appeared to be traveling in a convoy, there was no obvious police presence and the vehicles stopped for traffic lights.

Aerial footage of the convoy was aired live by Japanese broadcasters.

5:00 p.m.

Associated Press journalists have seen a man believed to be former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn leave the Tokyo Detention Center.

Ghosn was released Wednesday after putting up 1 billion yen ($8.9 million) in bail.

Surrounded by uniformed guards and wearing a face mask, hat, glasses and the clothing of a construction worker, he climbed into a white van and left the facility without making any comments.

He was arrested in November and is charged with falsifying financial reports and breach of trust.

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10:35 a.m.

Former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn may leave detention as early as Wednesday, after a Tokyo court approved his release on 1 billion yen ($8.9 million) bail, rejecting an appeal by prosecutors.

He said in a statement, “I am innocent and totally committed to vigorously defending myself in a fair trial against these meritless and unsubstantiated accusations.”

Ghosn’s lawyer in Japan, Junichiro Hironaka, said the legal team offered conditions for his release, such as a surveillance camera at the doorway and a promise not to use the internet.

The former head of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Motors alliance has been detained since November and is charged with falsifying financial reports and breach of trust.

Jean-Yves Le Borgne, Ghosn’s French lawyer, cautioned that prosecutors still had leeway to file new charges.