Ghosn to unravel ‘great escape’ mystery

Ghosn to unravel ‘great escape’ mystery


The world will have to wait until next week for what could be the only definitive account of how Carlos Ghosn managed to leave Japan months before he was due to stand trial for alleged financial misconduct.

The former Nissan chairman who fled Japan to Lebanon while out on bail, will speak to the media in Beirut next Wednesday, media reports said, in a public appearance that could provide answers to myriad questions around his daring escape.

Few countries will be monitoring Ghosn’s comments more closely than Japan, where his work to turn around Nissan earned him something of a saviour image. The official response there has been a mixture of condemnation – including by his own lawyers – and disbelief that a high-profile suspect under strictly monitored house arrest could have fled overseas, apparently without a passport.

Ghosn was carrying one of his two French passports when he left Japan, according to a Japanese media report. Public broadcaster NHK said the court had allowed him to keep a second French passport as long as it was kept 'in a locked case' with the key held by his lawyers.

The most widely circulated account of his escape – that he was carried out of his Tokyo residence in a wooden case for a musical instrument and spirited out of the country on a private jet from Kansai International airport in western Japan – has been challenged by Carole Ghosn. She described the account as 'fiction', but declined to provide details of her husband’s exit. On Thursday Turkish police detained several people after the interior ministry launched a probe into the transit of Ghosn through the country.

Japan’s government has yet to publicly comment on Ghosn’s escape, news of which broke as millions of people left Tokyo and other major cities to spend the New Year holidays in their home towns.