Car tycoon Carlos Ghosn fled Tokyo 'in a musical instrument case'

Car tycoon Carlos Ghosn fled Tokyo 'in a musical instrument case'
Carlos Ghosn reportedly fled house arrest in Japan via a musical instrument box belonging to a musician who played music at his house in Tokyo.
3 min read
31 December, 2019
Carlos Ghosn
In what is gearing up to be an escape of Hollywood proportions, former Nissan head Carlos Ghosn reportedly fled house arrest in Japan in an instrument box, with his wife Carol's assistance.

A band had reportedly arrived at his home in Tokyo, where he was under house arrest and strict surveillance, and at the end of their performance as the musicians packed up their gear, Ghosn apparently slipped into one of the larger cases and got taken to the airport, according to Lebanese TV news channel MTV.

A private plane was stationed and ready, and when Ghosn arrived, he was quickly taken to Turkey.

From there, the report continues, he boarded a Bombardier Challenger private jet straight to Lebanon, where he arrived in the early hours of Monday morning.

The flight path recorded by FlightRadar shows the jet disappear at 4.16am, as it came into Beirut-Rafic Haririr international airport.

This comes as Ricardo Karam, a Lebanese television host and Ghosn's friend said he had arrived in Lebanon on Monday morning. "He is home," Karam said. "It's a big adventure."

Whilst Ghosn hasn't responded to the claim, a statement from the foreign ministry in Lebanon stated that the disgraced businessman had entered the country "legally".

Japan authorities have no idea how Ghosn slipped out of the country, and his lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, is puzzled, given that all three of his client's passports – Lebanese, French and Brazilian – are still with his legal team in Tokyo.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday afternoon, Hironaka said:
"Maybe he thought he won't get a fair trial," and he
stressed that he continues to believe Ghosn is innocent. "I can't blame him for thinking that way."

Ghosn was arrested in November 2018 and was expected to face trial in April 2020.

The Nissan chief was initially questioned on underreporting his income among other charges, and the carmaker launched an internal investigation that uncovered "substantial evidence of blatantly unethical conduct" by the former chairman, who ran three huge car companies.

He has already been stripped of his position on the board at Nissan and resigned from the head of Renault as well as the three-way alliance the two companies share with Mitsubishi Motors.

Prosecutors fought his release, but a court granted him bail with conditions that he be monitored and could not meet with his wife, Carole, who has also been questioned by prosecutors in Tokyo.

Japan does not have an extradition treaty with Lebanon, and the country’s public security came to Ghosn's defense.

"Carlos Ghosn entered the country legally and there is no need for legal action against him," the directorate said.

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