The Lebanese Former Chairman and CEO of Nissan Motor, Renault, Mitsubishi Motors, and the Alliance, escaped his ban from leaving Japan in what France 24 called a “stunning departure” that left Japanese authorities baffled for some answers.
According to the New York Times, Ghosn’s lawyer Junichiro Hironaka in Japan said on Tuesday that he had been unaware of Mr. Ghosn’s plans to flee and learned about the departure from the news.
Hironaka said Ghosn’s legal team had all three of his passports in their possession; the Lebanese, the Brazilian, and the French passport.
The fallen Chief made a statement from Lebanon on Tuesday, December 31, addressing the rumors, "I am now in Lebanon and will no longer be held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system where guilt is presumed, discrimination is rampant, and basic human rights are denied, in flagrant disregard of Japan’s legal obligations under international law and treaties it is bound to uphold."
The statement continues; "I have not fled justice — I have escaped injustice and political persecution. I can now finally communicate freely with the media, and I look forward to starting next week."
Ghosn is facing many charges of financial wrongdoing in Japan, starting from financial misconduct and under-reporting his salary, and finishing with the most recent charge that the US securities regulators charged Nissan and Ghosn with for hiding more than $140 million in his expected retirement income from investors.
According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ghosn is fined $1 million and barred from serving as a corporate executive for 10 years, and that Nissan will pay a $15 million fine.
The French Secretary of State for Economy and Finance, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, said that the news of Carlos Ghosn's escape was very surprising, adding that she heard about it from the news first instead of officials.
In her interview with France Inter Radio, the French Secretary of State assured that nobody is above the law. However, Ghosn will be able to obtain consular help and assistance as a French citizen.