The former boss of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn has been granted bail by a Tokyo court in a surprise decision.
The court set bail at one billion yen £6.8m; $8.9m and Japanese media reports said he could be released as early as Tuesday.
Mr Ghosn has been charged with financial misconduct but has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
The court had rejected two previous requests for bail, saying Mr Ghosn was a flight risk and could hide evidence.
The latest request was filed by a new legal team, which was appointed by the Brazilian-born executive last month.
On Monday, the head of his defence, Junichiro Hironaka, said he was optimistic Mr Ghosn would be granted bail. Nicknamed “the Razor”, the Japanese lawyer has a reputation for winning tough cases.
Prosecutors in Tokyo were expected to file an appeal against the decision to grant bail, which requires Mr Ghosn stay in Japan and be placed under video surveillance.
Bail is rarely granted in Japan without a confession and the length of Mr Ghosn’s detention had drawn some criticism.
Breach of trust
The 64-year-old has been in custody since his arrest last November on allegations he understated his income at Nissan. He has also been charged with aggravated breach of trust.
Mr Ghosn, a towering figure of the car industry, was the architect of the Renault-Nissan alliance. He brought Mitsubishi on board in 2016.
Following his arrest, Nissan and Mitsubishi removed Mr Ghosn as chairman. Renault initially kept him on as chair, and he resigned from the French carmaker in January.
Mr Ghosn was born in Porto Velho, Brazil, to Lebanese parents. He was once tipped as a potential president of Lebanon, a move he eventually dismissed because he already had“too many jobs”.