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2 Jan, 2020 10:33

Pilots detained as Turkey opens probe on ex-Nissan chief Ghosn's Japan escape via Istanbul – reports

Pilots detained as Turkey opens probe on ex-Nissan chief Ghosn's Japan escape via Istanbul – reports

Turkish authorities are determined to find out how former Nissan and Renault chief Carlos Ghosn managed to jump bail in Japan, where he is charged with embezzlement, and flee through Istanbul airport, Turkish media said.

Seven people, including four pilots, have been detained after the Interior Ministry launched a probe into the allegations that the fugitive ex-CEO had made it from Osaka to Beirut, Lebanon, passing through Istanbul, Turkish media said on Thursday.

A former chairman and CEO of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, Ghosn is charged in Japan with embezzling the company's assets and lying to shareholders about the size of his salary.

He fled the country days ago, after being put under house arrest. Many details of Ghosn's sudden escape are still unclear, but it is believed he traveled to Lebanon on a private jet, and a private security company may have been involved in getting him out of Japan.

Also on rt.com Ghosn ghosted: Disgraced Nissan chief reportedly fled Japan hidden in musical instrument case

A Brazilian native of Lebanese origin, Ghosn has citizenship of Brazil, France and Lebanon. There were conflicting reports about which passports were in his possession during his escape. According to NHK, Ghosn managed to board a flight with a spare French passport.

The businessman denies all allegations against him. Upon landing in Lebanon, which does not have an extradition treaty with Japan, Ghosn said he has no faith in the “rigged Japanese justice system” and accused the authorities in Tokyo of not respecting his rights.  

French State Secretary for Economy and Finance Agnes Pannier-Runacher told BFM TV that Paris would not have extradited Ghosn if he had arrived in the country, because “France never extradites its nationals.”

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