Ghosn’s escape from Japan 'unjustifiable': Japanese Justice Minister, Latest World News - The New Paper

Ghosn’s escape from Japan 'unjustifiable': Japanese Justice Minister

This article is more than 12 months old

TOKYO: Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn's escape from Japan is "unjustifiable" and he is thought to have left the country using "illegal methods", the Japanese Justice Minister said yesterday, in the first official public comments on the case.

Ghosn, 65, skipped bail and fled Japan where he was awaiting trial over multiple counts of financial misconduct he denies.

His escape has left the authorities red-faced and scrambling to defend their justice system.

"Our country's criminal justice system sets out appropriate procedures to clarify the truth of cases and is administered appropriately, while guaranteeing basic individual human rights. The flight by a defendant on bail is unjustifiable," said Ms Masako Mori.

"It is clear we do not have records of the defendant Ghosn departing Japan. It is believed he used some wrongful methods to illegally leave the country. It is extremely regrettable that we have come to this situation," added the minister. She confirmed Ghosn's bail has been cancelled and an Interpol "red notice" had been issued.

The Public Prosecutors Office deemed Ghosn's flight a "crime" and said the tycoon had "knowingly flouted" the country's judicial procedures.

In their first remarks since Ghosn's flight just before the New Year, prosecutors said the escape vindicated their argument that he should have been kept in custody.

"The defendant Ghosn had abundant financial power and multiple foreign bases. It was easy for him to flee," the statement said.

Ghosn said he left Japan because he was no longer willing to be "held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system" and will give his own account at a press conference in Beirut this week. - AFP