The former Nissan CEO who faces charges of alleged illicit enrichment during his tenure is now in Lebanon, despite having obtained bail on the condition of not leaving Japan.
Carlos Ghosn, the fallen automotive ‘titan’ facing a trial in Japan for financial crimes, fled the country to Lebanon, according to people familiar with the matter.
The above marks a surprising turn in a saga that began with his arrest in Tokyo a little over a year ago.
The former CEO of Nissan and Renault arrived in Beirut, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified before the release of a public statement.
The former director expected to be tried for what prosecutors and their former Nissan colleges called a “general pattern of financial misconduct and search of corporate resources for personal gain,” remarks Ghosn has denied.
Ghosn’s escape to Lebanon, where he has citizenship, places him in a country without an extradition agreement with Japan. Ghosn, 65, has said he is the victim of a conspiracy between Nissan executives, prosecutors and government officials to prevent him from further integrating the Japanese company with Renault.
Ghosn fled Japan because he believes he will not have a fair trial in the Asian country, the person said.
Neither Ghosn’s daughter nor her lawyer in Japan responded to calls seeking comment. There was also no response at the Tokyo Prosecutor’s Office and the Immigration Office of Japan, at the Tokyo District Court, or at the office of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Ghosn, who for years attended events frequented by the rich and famous, including the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, was released on bail in April on the condition that he lived at a registered address and did not leave Japan.
Terms for your bail
The strict terms of his release were designed to prevent him from escaping.
He was not allowed to spend more than one night outside his home without the permission of a judge. A video camera was trained at the door of his house, and at the end of each month, Ghosn was to provide a list of everyone he had met.
Around the city, the former executive was followed by cars in the parks or restaurants, the men got out of the cars and followed him on foot.
Can you evade the charges?
History shows that beating a criminal charge in Japan is almost impossible. The courts have a conviction rate of almost 100 percent, as Japanese prosecutors have a number of procedural advantages that are not available to Western counterparts.
In many cases, the prosecution can present evidence obtained without an adequate court order.
Japanese prosecutors and the US Securities and Exchange Commission claim that he and Nissan violated payment disclosure rules by receiving ‘extra’ compensation of $ 140 million from what the company informed shareholders.
Ghosn also faces charges of breach of trust related to transactions that transferred personal investment losses to Nissan, and that transferred money from a dealership in Oman to a company it controls in Lebanon.
It is not clear how Ghosn left Japan since his passport was confiscated as part of the bail conditions. According to Lebanese media, he arrived in a private plane from Turkey.
It is also unclear how Japan could recover Ghosn: the country has extradition treaties with the United States and South Korea, according to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ghosn’s allies fear that I don’t get a fair trial in Japan. His wife Carole told Bloomberg Television last month that he should face a trial in France, describing Japan’s “hostage justice system” as one that considers the defendants as “guilty until proven innocent.”
Lebanon supports Carlos Ghosn … even with a mattress
Ghosn was born in Brazil and raised in Lebanon, where he has investments in real estate and vineyards, and continues to be seen as a commercial icon and prodigy. Your image has been used for national postal stamps.
From the first days of his imprisonment, Ghosn obtained the support of Lebanon.
The Lebanese ambassador in Japan bought a mattress for Ghosn in December 2018 and pressured him to be transferred from solitary confinement.
Hady Hachem, chief of staff of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, said at the time that the Government also demanded that the Lebanese citizen be allowed to contact his family and ensure that he had adequate legal representation.