Former Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn has again been denied bail in Japan.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said he could remain in jail for at least several months awaiting trial after the Tokyo District Court rejected his request to be released on bail.
The decision, on Tuesday (15 January) is being appealed by Ghosn's lawyer, the report added.
Ghosn's wife was yesterday quoted in media reports as saying her husband was being mistreated, including being fed a minimal diet of rice and grains and kept in an unheated cell, in an effort to force a confession from him. She has appealed to human rights organisations in Japan to intervene.
The WSJ noted Ghosn had been charged with understating his compensation on eight years of Nissan's financial reports and with causing Nissan to pay the company of a Saudi Arabian friend who helped him with a personal financial problem. The latest charges were filed on 11 January and cleared the way for Ghosn to seek his release on bail.
Ghosn has said he is innocent. He said he kept a record at Nissan of how much he thought he was worth but that it was hypothetical and didn't bind Nissan to pay him anything beyond his publicly reported compensation. He said Nissan received valuable services from the Saudi company and paid it appropriately, the WSJ added.
Ghosn was arrested first on 19 November after his private jet landed in Tokyo and has been held since then at the Tokyo Detention House. At a hearing on 8 January, a judge on the court said Ghosn was being held because he was a flight risk and because he might destroy evidence in the case if released. No immediate reason was given for today's decision to reject his bail request.
The WSJ noted in Japan, it is common for defendants who deny the charges against them to remain in jail for months or even more than a year while they await trial. If it isn't reversed on appeal, Tuesday's court decision suggests Ghosn's case may follow that pattern. Ghosn's lawyer has said he expects it will be at least six months until the trial begins.