Update 2: According to Lebanese television outlet MTV, citing no sources, Ghosn fled Japan inside of a musical instrument box (via Al Arabiya).
According to the report, Ghosn entered Lebaon "legally" on his French passport - while authorities saw no reason to bar him from the country.
French Newspaper Les Echos suggested Ghosn may have left Japan using a forged passport under a fake name, boarding a private plane from a smaller airport where he would be less likely to be recognized. Ghosn's lawyer in Japan, Junichiro Hironaka, called his client's actions "inexcusable."
Meanwhile, people are already having fun with the saga.
Great ad placement on the Bloomberg homepage ... pic.twitter.com/aEVRVxD3d2— Richard Fletcher (@fletcherr) December 31, 2019
Update: Confirming earlier speculation, Nissan’s former Chairman Carlos Ghosn who was facing criminal trial in Japan, said he fled for Lebanon and has left Japan, which Bloomberg called a "stunning twist" in a saga that began over a year ago with this shocking arrest in Tokyo. Ghosn said in a statement through his representatives Tuesday that he was not fleeing justice, but instead seeking to avoid “injustice and political persecution.”
"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," the former Nissane and Renault head said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday. “I have not fled justice – I have escaped injustice and political persecution.”
Ghosn, now a global fugitive from the law, picked Lebanon as it has no extradition agreement with Japan. The 65-year-old has said he’s the victim of a conspiracy between Nissan executives, prosecutors and government officials to prevent him from further integrating the company with Renault.
Ghosn did not provide details on how he got out but promised to talk to reporters soon. He was awaiting trial for what prosecutors called a pervasive pattern of financial misconduct and raiding of corporate resources for personal gain — allegations that Ghosn has denied. Ghosn fled Japan because he doesn’t believe he will get a fair trial in the country, a person familiar with the matter said earlier.
Ghosn was released on bail in April under the condition that he live at a registered address and not leave Japan. As Bloomberg notes, the strict terms of his release were designed to prevent him from fleeing. He wasn’t permitted to spend more than one night away from his house without a judge’s permission. A video camera was trained on his front door, and at the end of each month, Ghosn was required to provide a list of everyone he’d met. Ghosn’s overseas travel ban was still in place when he fled to Lebanon, according to Kyodo.
The mystery of how Ghosn left Japan deepens as his passport was confiscated as part of the conditions of bail. According to Lebanese media, he arrived on a private jet from Turkey. Neither is it clear how Japan might get Ghosn back: The country has extradition treaties with the U.S. and South Korea, according to the foreign ministry’s website.
Ghosn was born in Brazil and raised in Lebanon, where he has investments in real estate and vineyards and continues to be viewed as a business icon and wunderkind. His image has been used for national postal stamps. Since the early days of his incarceration, Ghosn won support from Lebanon.
And so, just as Jeffrey Epstein managed to "suicide" himself despite constant surveillance and suicide watch, so too Carlos Ghosn, arguably the highest profile alleged criminals under house arrest currently, somehow managed to evade his overseers and flee to one of the few countries that has no extradition treaty with Japan...
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Just over 13 months after his arrest in Japan, The FT reports that former Nissan-Renault Chairman Carlos Ghosn is no longer under house arrest in Japan and has arrived in his parents’ native Lebanon, according to a source close to the Nissan-Renault chairman’s family and a professional associate.
Ghosn had been out on bail, under house arrest, for alleged financial wrongdoing in Japan. Ghosn holds Lebanese, French and Brazilian citizenship.
Local media reported that, according to an associate of Mr Ghosn, he arrived in a private jet at Beirut’s Rafic al-Hariri international airport late on Sunday.
For now, it is unclear whether the former carmaker’s chairman has escaped house arrest in Japan or whether a deal has been struck for his release.
Dow Jones also reported Ghosn arrived in Lebanon, said he plans to hold a press conference in the coming days.