Ghosn’s escape surprised everybody
The escape of former Alliance CEO, Carlos Ghosn, has surprised many people. He was under confinement in Japan attending his trial and wasn’t allowed to leave the country. Last Monday, he made a ‘James Bond’ escape to Libanon, apparently aided by a private company hired by his wife, Carole.
His Japanese lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, has declared he was ‘flabbergasted’ by the disappearance of his famous client. Once arrived in Libanon, Ghosn has declared to be ready to talk openly a week from now. “I didn’t flee justice,” he added, “I liberated myself from injustice and prosecution.”
How a man so famous and recognizable was able to escape from the very thorough Japanese surveillance is subject to a lot of rumors. His wife Carole has apparently hired a private company to help him escape.
Some sources even talk of a case for a (big) music instrument wherein the man was hidden during the first stage of the escape. Apparently he flew from Osaka (Japan) to Instanbul (Turkey), and from there to Beirut (Libanon) in private planes.
He leaves a Japanese jurisdiction speechless. And also a caution deposit of more than 13 million euros he had to pay for his temporary release. Both the Japanese jurisdictional system and the security systems are ridiculized.
The process will probably still take place for two of the four accusations. The taxation fraud accusations also concern the company Nissan itself, and the former aid of Ghosn Greg Kelly. The accusations about abuse of trust are personal and can’t be judged if Ghosn is not present. In Japan, there is no judgment in absentia.
France remains silent
Having three nationalities, Carlos Ghosn had three different passports, a French, a Brazilian, and a Lebanese. All three are under custody of Japanese justice. Apparently he entered Libanon with an old identity card, and (a copy of) his French passport.
The French government has officially declared that “it learned from the escape in the press”. The only more outspoken comment was that of the Secretary to the Economy Minister, Agnès Pannier-Runacher: “Nobody is above the low. We don’t extradite Frech citizens.” More cryptic than this, you can’t find.
Since he saved Nissan in 1999 and became one of the leading automotive people in the world, Ghosn is a hero for many in Libanon. For the government, he is a symbol of the success Lebanese can find all over the world.
Accordingly, extradition isn’t an option. There are no extradition agreements between both countries, and, normally, Lebanese citizens can’t be extradited. Since his detention in Japan, Libanon has always tried to have Ghosn trialed in his ‘native country’. In fact, he was born in Brazil but spent his childhood in Libanon.
Some of his friends and supporters see Carlos Ghosn already as the savior of Libanon, the only man left that can unite a very divided country. The political opposition, on the contrary, sees him as the symbol of everything that goes wrong in Libanon.
“He has fled to Libanon because the jurisdictional system here has never condemned one single person or politician for corruption, even when billions of public money disappear every year,” says the opposition on Twitter.