Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn has said his family had no involvement in his escape from Japan.
The fugitive businessman, who turned up in Lebanon a few days ago having been out on bail awaiting trial on financial misconduct charges, insisted speculation about their involvement in his departure was “inaccurate and false”.
In a statement, he said: “There has been speculation in the media that my wife Carole, and other members of my family played a role in my departure from Japan. All such speculation is inaccurate and false.
“I alone arranged for my departure. My family had no role whatsoever.”
Image: The businessman’s Tokyo home has been raided following his escape to Lebanon
His statement came after seven people, including four pilots, were detained in Turkey in connection with the escape.
Ghosn was taken through Istanbul following his departure from Tokyo, apparently by private plane.
The other suspects to be detained were two airport ground workers and a cargo worker, and police said all seven were expected to give statements in court.
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Meanwhile, Ghosn’s home in the Japanese capital has been raided by prosecutors.
It comes as Lebanon received a red notice from Interpol calling on authorities there to arrest him.
Image: Prosecutors raid Ghosn’s residence in the Japanese capital
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, with Reuters reporting he was smuggled by a private security firm following a plan three months in the making.
Lebanon, which does not have an extradition treaty with Japan, said he entered the country legally on a French passport and there was no reason to take action against him.
But one of his 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.
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.
Ghosn, 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 had reported Ghosn’s wife Carole helped plan the escape, which was carried out by a paramilitary-style group.
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.
Image: Ghosn pictured with his wife Carole in Tokyo last March
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) Ghosn had posted on two separate instances to get out of detention.
Source : Sky News