Ghosn, Ghosn, Gone! Former Nissan CEO Ghosn Apparently Jumps Bail in Japan
Carlso Ghosn, on trial in Tokyo for financial impropriety, appears to have fled to Beirut, Lebanon.
The ongoing saga that is Nissan's former CEO, Carlos Ghosn, has gone even more international. The executive, who recently posted bail in his ongoing Japanese case involving charges of financial impropriety, has just appeared in Beirut—thousands of miles away from the jurisdiction where he is currently being tried.
Mr. Ghosn has close ties to Lebanon, and is viewed there as a victim of an alleged conspiracy of corporate and national Japanese interests bent on ousting him from Nissan's executive ranks. (Nissan is hitched, currently, to corporate partner Renault—and Ghosn headed up the joint entity, along with Mitsubishi. He has been dismissed from his previous positions.) His appearance in Beirut was first reported by local media before being picked up by the Associated Press.
Japanese law allows for the ongoing detention of suspected criminals so long as new charges are periodically introduced, and so Ghosn was jailed for months after his initial arrest in November 2018 as his bail pleas were swatted down and new charges were introduced on an ongoing basis. In March 2019, however, Ghosn managed to win bail—but only briefly, as he was soon rearrested on separate charges. Again, in April, he was granted bail—for which he posted for about $9 million—granting him a reprieve from jail, albeit with conditions. The former executive was essentially on house arrest in a court-sanctioned Tokyo apartment, and was required to seek permission even to speak with his wife, whom Japanese authorities believed was coordinating with witnesses and other external-to-the-case actors. He had no access to internet, and his movements within the apartment were monitored by a live video feed.
According to the Associated Press, Ghosn seems to have escaped those restrictive environs and traveled from Japan to Lebanon via private jet—although it isn't yet known how he broke his strict bonds set forth by his bail conditions. He has maintained his innocence, and apparently Lebanon welcomed him home as a hero. At his home there, one of many around the globe (a problem center in the allegations of financial misconduct levied against him), Mr. Ghosn is said to be under protection by armed guards. As a citizen of Lebanon, Mr. Ghosn is apparently immune from extradition while within its borders, according to the New York Times. Meanwhile, his former employer Nissan (and Renault) has entertained a rotating cast of characters atop its leadership since Ghosn's arrest. His immediate successor was also accused of improper financial machinations, and that CEO's successor has since stepped down, as well.