Ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn certainly ended the twenty-teens in dramatic fashion. When news broke early this week that Ghosn had fled his house arrest in Japan for Lebanon, the circumstances of his trip were unknown. There’s still much unknown at this point, but multiple news outlets do label the former automotive mogul a fugitive who apparently made a very daring escape. What we do know is that Ghosn is now in Lebanon, and according to Reuters, he escaped what he reportedly called a “rigged” system of justice in Japan.
We also know that Interpol has officially sent an arrest warrant for Ghosn to Lebanon as of today. Reuters reports that Lebanon’s internal security forces received the Interpol red notice but that it hadn’t yet been sent to the judiciary. It’s highly unlikely anything will materialise from this, as Lebanon doesn’t have any extradition agreements with Japan. Ghosn is said to be highly regarded in the country where he spent a majority of is youth and holds citizenship.
Beyond that, reports and rumours are coming like wildfire. Unconfirmed sources claim Ghosn was essentially smuggled out of Japan by private security forces. A band had reportedly performed at his home in Tokyo and left with him hiding in one of the musical instrument crates. From there, Ghosn allegedly flew to Turkey and then on to Lebanon, where he is said to have legally entered the country with a French passport. Ghosn has citizenship in both Lebanon and France, and recent reports from Japanese news outlets claim that Ghosn did have a French passport at his Tokyo home, though it was locked away.
Turkish police are reportedly conducting an investigation into his alleged passage through the country and have detained seven people. Japan is also investigating his escape, though little information from Japanese officials has been released thus far.
As for Ghosn, he’s expected to speak to the press in the coming days about the situation, where he will almost certainly blast Japan’s justice system. Adding fuel to that fire are unconfirmed reports that his trial was pushed back to 2021 – over two years since his original arrest in 2018 for financial crimes. During his initial incarceration and subsequent house arrest he was reportedly denied having any contact with his wife, and numerous other legal requests supposedly in accordance with international law were said to have been denied as well.