Just The Facts: Ex-Nissan Chief Carlos Ghosn Flees From Japan to Lebanon

Carlos Ghosn, former chairman of Nissan, has been facing charges in Japan for underreporting his compensation and using company funds for personal expenses. On December 30, 2019, he fled the country and took refuge in Lebanon, where he became considered a folk hero by escaping injustice and political persecution. According to the New York Times, he later confirmed in a statement that he would no longer be held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system where guilt is presumed, discrimination is rampant, and basic human rights are denied.”
The circumstances under which Mr. Ghosn has fled Japan are still unclear to authorities. He strongly maintained his innocence and was on bail, under close watch by officials. Yet, Mr. Ghosn was able to leave the country and, as noted by Lebanese newspaper Al-Joumhouriya, arrived in Lebanon on a private jet with his wife. Being a citizen of Lebanon, where he is legally protected from extradition, Mr. Ghosn has avoided his 2020 trial in Japan and garnered the public support of the Lebanese. Shortly after Mr. Ghosn was arrested in November 2018, a billboard in the city expressed aid for the imprisoned executive: We are all Carlos Ghosn,” it read.
Interpol issued a Red Notice, a non-binding request to law enforcement agencies worldwide that they locate and arrest the fugitive Carlos Ghosn. Turkey has made several arrests afterward as investigation into how he passed through their country. Mr. Ghosn, however, still has many politicians defending his back; he had close ties to senior politicians and business stakes in many Lebanese companies. Lebanon continues to stand with Ghosn by repeatedly calling for his release and stating Ghosn entered the country with a legal passport. Lebanon has not yet received an official extradition request or treaty from Japan.