Japan is urgently investigating after former Renault-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn fled court-imposed bail ahead of his trial on charges of financial misconduct and arrived in Lebanon where he said he would “escape injustice” of Japan.
Ghosn issued a statement on Tuesday morning in which he said he would “no longer be held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system where guilt is presumed”.
“I have not fled justice – I have escaped injustice and political persecution,” Ghosn said in the statement, adding that he could “finally communicate freely with the media, and look forward to starting next week”.
It was not clear how Ghosn, who had surrendered his passports as part of his bail conditions and barred from leaving Japan, had fled the country. One of Ghosn’s Japanese lawyers told reporters on Tuesday that his legal team was still holding all three of his passports and that he could not have used any of them to escape Japan. The former auto executive has French and Lebanese citizenship and was born in Brazil.
Junichiro Hironaka said he had not spoken to Ghosn since last week and that he was “surprised” by his client’s arrival in Lebanon. His client’s actions were “inexcusable”, he said.
Ghosn arrived in Beirut from Turkey on a private plane, Lebanese newspaper Al Joumhouria said, adding that he was expected to hold a news conference in the coming days. “Ghosn reached Beirut, but it’s unclear how he left Japan,” Agence France-Presse quoted a Lebanese security official as saying.