Former Nissan Motor chief Carlos Ghosn evaded Japanese authorities by hiding inside a musical instrument box, reports revealed Tuesday.
The escape was allegedly carried out by members of a paramilitary-style group who disguised themselves as a music band hired to perform during a dinner at Ghosn’s residence in Japan, according to Sky News.
“The former Nissan chairman is said to have left the premises in a box intended for transporting musical instruments, before leaving Japan from a nearby airport,” the report said.
The 65-year-old had been under house arrest while in the Asian country and was awaiting trial for alleged financial misconduct.
On Monday, Lebanese officials confirmed to AFP that the former chairman had arrived in Beirut, Lebanon, but said it was “unclear how he left Japan.”
The report continued:
Ghosn spent months in detention after his initial arrest, but was released in the Spring before being re-arrested and put under house arrest. His release came with strict conditions, including restrictions on seeing his wife and bail of $4.5 million. The former executive who oversaw the alliance of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors to create the world’s top-selling auto group, denies all charges against him.
Ghosn stated in a statement distributed to Japanese media that he left Japan not to flee justice but to avoid “injustice and political persecution.”
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.
“I can now communicate freely with the media, and look forward to starting next week,” Ghosn said.
Junichiro Hironaka, the leader of Ghosn’s legal defense team, said following Ghosn’s escape that he was surprised when he heard the news of his client’s arrival in Lebanon, according to NHK World-Japan.
“Hironaka said he last met Ghosn in a pre-trial hearing on Wednesday but knows no more about his client’s latest move than what media reports are saying,” the report concluded.