Nissan ex-boss flees Japan to Lebanon

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Former Nisssan boss Carlos Ghosn

Former Nisssan boss Carlos Ghosn has travelled to Lebanon after leaving Japan, where he faces a trial over allegations of financial misconduct.

In a statement, Mr Ghosn said he had not fled justice but “escaped injustice and political persecution”.

It is unclear how he managed to leave Japan, where he was arrested in 2018.

The former CEO was awaiting trial in the country and was barred from traveling abroad under strict bail conditions.

Mr Ghosn denies any wrongdoing.

The 65-year-old was born in Brazil to parents of Lebanese descent and was raised in Beirut, before traveling to France for further education. He holds French and Lebanese passports.

Ghosn releases statement

Mr Ghosn released a short statement after multiple news agencies reported he had traveled to Lebanon.

Confirming he had gone to the Middle East country, Mr Ghosn said he would “no longer be held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system where guilt is presumed, discrimination is rampant, and basic human rights are denied.

“I have not fled justice, I have escaped injustice and political persecution. I can now finally communicate freely with the media, and look forward to starting next week.”

Mr Ghosn has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing since he was first detained. His lawyers have accused the Japanese government of conspiring against him, calling the prosecution’s case “politically motivated”.

His wife Carole Ghosn said in June that authorities sought to “intimidate and humiliate” the couple.

How he could have left Japan remains unclear. Mr Ghosn was under strict bail conditions as he awaited trial in Japan, such as video surveillance of his home and restricted phone and computer usage.

He had to surrender his passports to his lawyer, and had to ask for court permission to travel away from home for more than two nights.

According to reports, the terms of his bail remain unchanged.

 

Nneka Ukachukwu

 

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