Lebanon's public security defends Carlos Ghosn's escape from Japan

Lebanon's public security defends Carlos Ghosn's escape from Japan
The public security directorate has defended Carlos Ghosn's escape from Japan where he faces criminal charges.
2 min read
31 December, 2019
Carlos Ghosn denies all charges [Getty]

Lebanon's public security directorate has defended the decision of ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn to flee Japan where he faces criminal charges.

The former Lebanese-French auto titan, who is supposed to be currently under house arrest in Tokyo, arrived in Lebanon on Monday.

Lebanese media reported he arrived to Beirut on a private jet via Turkey.

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

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" but 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. It is unclear what steps authorities might take.

Ghosn has repeatedly asserted his innocence, saying authorities trumped up charges to prevent a possible fuller merger between Nissan Motor Co and alliance partner Renault SA.

Junichiro Hironaka, Ghosn's lawyer told reporters Tuesday afternoon that he was stunned that the French-Brazillian-Lebanese tycoon had jumped bail and denied any involvement in or knowledge of the escape.

He said the lawyers had all of Ghosn's three passports and was puzzled by how he could have left the country.

The last time he spoke to Ghosn was on Christmas Day, and he has never been consulted about leaving for Lebanon, Hironaka told reporters outside his law office in Tokyo.

Ghosn denies all charges and has accused Japan of keeping him.

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