Nissan fugitive ex-boss Ghosn will not be extradited back to Japan

Nissan’s fugitive ex-boss Carlos Ghosn bailed from Japan to Lebanon to evade charges of financial misconduct will not be extradited back to Japan, according to Lebanon’s president earlier this month.

Ghosn was arrested in late January in 2018 for his financial misconduct charges. According to Japan times, “the 65-year-old business man — for years venerated in Japan for turning around once-ailing Nissan — fled while awaiting trial on charges including allegedly under-reporting his compensation to the tune of $85 million”. His crime could lead up to 15 years of jail sentences.

In April 2019, Ghosn posted 8.9 million USD bail and was monitored by a 24-hour camera installed outside his house.

Shockingly, he was able to leave Japan and appeared in Lebanon on New Year’s Eve this year, saying “I have escaped injustice and political persecution,” according to BBC news. Even his lawyer was not aware of the situation. He told the press that “I was dumbfounded […] I want to ask him, ‘How could you do this to us?’”.

On January 10, a Japan times article wrote that “Lebanon banned former auto tycoon Carlos Ghosn from travel Thursday and asked Japan to hand over his file on financial misconduct charges as Tokyo urged the fugitive to return.”

Last week, Lebanon’s president suggested that Nissan’s fugitive ex-boss Carlos Ghosn will not be extradited back to Japan and the decision of his trial will remain in the hands of Lebanon’s judiciary. In other words, if the Lebanon judiciary system think that Ghosn should be free of charge, he will be breaking free from all the consequences.

The Japan times article said, ““According to what is inside the file, if it appears that the crimes he is accused of in Japan require being pursued in Lebanon, he will be tried,” the source added. “But if it doesn’t require being pursued under Lebanese law, then he will be free,” the source told the press.

Another BBC article, said that Ghosn “skipped bail to board a private jet that took him to Turkey before he travelled on to Lebanon, where he is a citizen and where his wife was waiting.” The article pointed out that the “security camera caught the 65-year old walking out of his house in Tokyo at around 2:30 p.m. local time on 29 December. The article added that two men at Tokyo hotel escorted him to Osaka and checked into a hotel near Kansai Airport. The camera did not see Ghosn leaving the hotel but the other two men were caught by security cameras exiting with two big boxes. It was believed that Ghosn was loaded on the private jet bound for Turkey in a flight case, with holes drilled into the bottom so that the executive was able to breathe, according to the article. The source emphasized that the case was not checked by the airport security before it was loaded on to the plane.

Ghosn issued a short statement that he was the only one that was responsible for the unauthorized flight from Japan. His reasoning was that he denies the charges of all the financial wrongdoing in Japan and insisted that the country’s justice system is “rigged”.

The Lebanese government stressed that the two countries had no extradition treaty, adding that Ghosn entered Lebanon “legally” through its international airport using his French passport and had a Lebanese identity card.

Japan still insist that the case should be handled in Japan and Japan’s Justice Minister Masako Mori said that she will explain “the nation’s criminal system” to the authorities in Lebanon and hopefully they can “improve cooperation”.