Japan vows to improve border checks, review bail conditions after Nissan’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn flight

Carlos Ghosn, former Nissan CEO, speaks at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January 2017. Photo: AFP. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

TOKYO, Jan 6, 2020, AP. Japan’s justice minister vowed on Monday (Jan 6) to strengthen border departure checks and review bail conditions after Nissan’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn fled the country. Ms Masako Mori told reporters the ministry has already acted to prevent a recurrence, but declined to give details, The Straits Times reported.

Ghosn skipped bail while awaiting trial on various financial misconduct allegations and later said from Lebanon that he did so because his case was unfair.

Ms Mori declined to say who might be responsible for such a high-profile flight, emphasising it was still under investigation.

She said Ghosn left illegally, denouncing it as an “unjustifiable” crime.

Details of his stunning escape last week are not yet clear.

But Turkish airline company MNG Jet has said two of its planes were used illegally, first flying him from Osaka, Japan, to Istanbul, and then on to Beirut, where he arrived last Monday and has not been seen since.

He promised to talk to reporters on Wednesday. His lawyers in Japan said they knew nothing and felt betrayed by his action.

Ghosn, once a superstar of the car industry, was first arrested in November 2018. He had been out on bail and most recently lived in a home in an upscale part of Tokyo.

He has repeatedly said he was innocent. His statement from Beirut said he was escaping injustice.

He had been charged with under-reporting his future compensation and breach of trust in diverting Nissan money for his personal gain.

His bail has been revoked and Interpol has issued a wanted notice.

Japan does not have an extradition treaty with Lebanon.

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