Fugitive Carlos Ghosn’s escape from Japan remains a mystery as investigation continues


Experts said it would be hard to bring Mr Ghosn back to stand trial in Tokyo, while chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said the situation had to be handled carefully. Japanese Justice Minister Masako Mori vowed Monday, Jan. 6, 2020 to strengthen border departure checks and review bail conditions, given the flight of Ghosn.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Ghosn was loaded onto the flight from Osaka in a large case for audio equipment, which was later found at the back of the cabin.

"I am now in Lebanon and will no longer be held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system where guilt is presumed, discrimination is rampant and basic human rights are denied, in flagrant disregard of Japan's legal obligations under worldwide law and treaties it is bound to uphold", Ghosn's statement said, according to NHK, Japan's national broadcasting service.

When asked if Mr. Ghosn had eluded these measures, Mr. Taniguchi said: "We can not comment on this".

His lawyers in Japan said they had no idea about Ghosn's plans to escape, with his lead attorney saying he learned of the news from the media.

"Japan's justice system allows investigating the facts while it ensures the individual basic human rights at the same time", Mori told reporters at the ministry.

Japan does not have an extradition treaty with Lebanon.

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The former head of Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA took a bullet train around 4:30 p.m. local time on December 29 from Tokyo's Shinagawa station, according to the report. "It was easy for him to flee", the statement said. But the Turkish airline MNG Jet has said that two of its planes were used illegally, first flying from Osaka, Japan, to Istanbul, and then to Beirut, where it arrived last Monday and has not been seen since.

Nissan had hired a private security company to watch Ghosn, who was on bail and awaiting trial, to check whether he met any people involved in the case, the three sources said.

Once an auto industry superstar, Ghosn was first arrested in November 2018.

Ghosn claimed he had fled, months before he was due to stand trial on financial misconduct charges, because he did not expect to receive a fair trial under Japan's "rigged" justice system.

The manufacturer also reiterated that, while the investigation into his wrongdoings is still ongoing in France, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) already concluded that Ghosn's conduct was "fraudulent".

"As stated by the public prosecutor's office, former chairman Carlos Ghosn's escape to the Lebanese Republic without the court's permission in violation of his bail conditions is an act that defies Japan's judicial system".