Four pilots held over Ghosn escape as his home is raided

Seven people, including four pilots, have been detained in Turkey after Carlos Ghosn was taken through Istanbul following his escape from Japan.
The former Nissan chairman, who was under house arrest and had been out on bail while awaiting trial on financial misconduct charges, turned up in Lebanon a few days ago, apparently arriving by private plane.

The other suspects to be detained were two airport ground workers and a cargo worker.
All seven were expected to give statements in court, said police.

Image: The businessman’s Tokyo home has been raided following his escape to Lebanon
The fugitive businessman’s home in the Japanese capital has now been raided by prosecutors.


Ghosn, who is of Lebanese origin and holds French, Lebanese and Brazilian citizenship, said he fled Japan to escape what he called a “rigged” justice system and he wanted to avoid “political persecution”.

The 65-year-old revealed on New Year’s Eve that he was in Lebanon and is expected to talk to the media next week.

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He was smuggled out of Tokyo by a private security firm following a plan three months in the making, Reuters reported.
Lebanon, which does not have an extradition treaty with Japan, said Ghosn entered the country legally on a French passport, and there was no reason to take action against him.
But one of Ghosn’s Japanese legal team said his lawyers still had all three of his passports, under the terms of his bail.
However, Ghosn was allowed by Japanese authorities to carry a spare French passport in a locked case while out on bail, Japan’s NHK broadcaster said, shedding some light on how he was able to get to Beirut.
The key to the locked case was held by his lawyers, NHK said.

Image: Prosecutors raid Ghosn’s residence in the Japanese capital

His lawyer Junichiro Hironaka said he was stunned after Ghosn fled and has denied all knowledge of the escape. He said he did not expect his client to return to Tokyo.
In a statement on New Year’s Eve, Ghosn said: “I am now in Lebanon and will no longer be held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system where guilt is presumed, discrimination is rampant, and basic human rights are denied, in flagrant disregard of Japan’s legal obligations under international law and treaties it is bound to uphold.”
He added: “I have not fled justice – I have escaped injustice and political persecution. I can now finally communicate freely with the media, and look forward to starting next week.”
The businessman, who is believed to have been under tight surveillance in Japan, had escaped in a musical instrument case, according to reports in Lebanon.
The country’s news channel MTV said Ghosn’s wife Carole helped plan the escape, which was carried out by a paramilitary-style group.

Image: Ghosn pictured with his wife Carole in Tokyo last March
The channel reported the members disguised themselves as a music band who were due to perform for a Gregorian-style dinner at Ghosn’s home in Japan.
The former car boss is said to have left the premises in a box intended for transporting musical instruments, before leaving Japan from a nearby airport.
Ghosn was first arrested in Tokyo in November 2018.
He faces four charges including hiding income and enriching himself through payments to car dealerships in the Middle East. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. He denies all charges.
After his arrest, he enjoyed an outpouring of support from Lebanon.
The Tokyo district court has now reportedly revoked his bail, meaning authorities would seize the 1.5bn yen (£10.4m) Mr Ghosn had posted on two separate instances to get out of detention.

Source : Sky News