TOKYO - Carlos Ghosn is expected to be charged and face new allegations of financial misconduct on Monday (Dec 10), meaning the once-revered auto tycoon is likely to be spending Christmas in a Japanese prison.
In a fall from grace that stunned the business world, the former Nissan chairman was arrested on Nov 19 on suspicion of under-declaring his income by some five billion yen (S$60 million) between 2010 and 2015.
On Monday, authorities are expected to press formal charges over this allegation, and re-arrest him on suspicion that he also under-reported his income by a further four billion yen over the past three years.
Under Japanese law, suspects can be re-arrested several times for different allegations, allowing prosecutors to question them for prolonged periods - a system that has attracted criticism internationally.
Monday represents the final day that prosecutors can hold Ghosn and close aide Greg Kelly before either charging or re-arresting them, and a further arrest would allow them another 22 days of questioning.
In addition to charges against Ghosn, prosecutors are also preparing to indict Nissan itself, according to local media, as the company submitted the official documents that under-reported the income.
Ghosn denies the charges and is in a "combative" frame of mind, according to sources at Renault, the company he still formally leads - even if the French car giant has appointed an interim chairman.
The Japanese firms in the three-way alliance with Renault - Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors - have both sacked the Franco-Lebanese-Brazilian as chairman.
The millionaire auto sector star, who attracted some criticism for a perceived lavish lifestyle, is now alone in a spartan cell in a Tokyo detention centre, in a tiny room measuring just three tatami mats - around five square metres.
Mr Carlos Ghosn has been credited with reviving Japan's Nissan car company and French automaker Renault in an alliance that later expanded to include Mitsubishi Motors of Japan.