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‘Fear of conviction' forced ex-Nissan chief to flee Japan

Carlos Ghosn says charges of financial fraud against him 'made up', wants trial in Lebanon

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 13.10.2021
‘Fear of conviction' forced ex-Nissan chief to flee Japan

ANKARA

Fugitive Carlos Ghosn, the former chairman of Nissan Motors, has said that fear of “conviction rate in Japan forced him to flee the country.”

“Why do you need a judge if the prosecutor wins 99.4% of the cases," he told Japan’s public broadcaster NHK News in an online interview from Lebanon. “The only way I could defend myself is by leaving Japan."

In November 2019, Ghosn was arrested in Japan on charges of corruption during his tenure as the chairman of Nissan.

He was included in the International Criminal Police Organization's wanted list after illegally leaving Japan while he was on bail in December 2019.

The former Nissan chief said the charges are "made up." “The only way is to transmit the accusation to Lebanon so I can be tried in Lebanon. They don’t do it because they know these are made-up charges,” Ghosn claimed.

But the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office termed Ghosn’s allegations “categorically false,” saying it will work to “bring former Nissan chief to justice in Japan.”

Ghosn said the most critical moment in the escape was when he was in a box before it was brought on board the private jet. He said it was fortunate that the box was not X-rayed.

Three people accused of aiding Ghosn’s escape from Japan to Lebanon via Istanbul were convicted and handed down jail terms by a Turkish court earlier this year.

Meanwhile, in July, two Americans were also sentenced by a Japanese court for helping the former Nissan chief. They were arrested in the US and later extradited to Japan. The duo had pleaded guilty and apologized for their roles in Ghosn’s escape.

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