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Carlos Ghosn flees to Lebanon

By Charlotte Ricca

The former Nissan boss beats a hasty retreat to his home country to escape 'injustice and political persecution' in Japan

Carlos Ghosn has fled to his home country of Lebanon to escape “injustice and political persecution” in Japan.

The former Nissan boss was awaiting trial in Japan on charges of financial misconduct. However, in a statement he said 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.”

Ghosn was first arrested in November 2018 over allegations that included under-reporting his salary and misusing company assets.

He was released on bail in March 2019 and then re-arrested in April for paying himself $5m of company money, disguised as a reward to a Nissan distributor in Oman.

The 65-year-old was granted bail for a second time. However, his movements and communications were restricted and he was barred from travelling abroad.

His French, Brazilian and Lebanese passports were all confiscated and are still held by his lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, who condemned his client's behaviour as "inexcusable".

However, Ghosn said he has “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," his statement said.

Ghosn denies any wrongdoing, saying the prosecution's case is "politically motivated".

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