Carlos Ghosn, the former chairman of Japanese automaker Nissan, late last week secretly fled Japan, where he was awaiting trial over allegations of financial misconduct.
In November 2018, Ghosn was arrested in Tokyo on suspicions he violated Japanese financial laws. Immediately preceding his arrest, Nissan issued a statement announcing it had been conducting an internal investigation “over the past several months” regarding misconduct involving Ghosn and representative director Greg Kelly.
Ghosn’s arrest has been controversial from the beginning. Both Nissan and Japanese prosecutors allege Ghosn has been using company resources to support his lavish lifestyle while Ghosn’s allies have argued he was set up by Nissan executives over a business-strategy dispute, fearing Ghosn’s plans to strengthen ties with Renault in France, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Ghosn has denied wrongdoing. On Dec. 30, Ghosn confirmed in a statement he is now in his homeland of 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. I have 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.”