Carlos Ghosn’s Tokyo home raided by Japanese prosecutors

By Yuri Kageyama, AP

Japanese prosecutors have raided the Tokyo home of former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn after he skipped bail before a trial on financial misconduct charges and left for Lebanon.

Japanese media reported on and showed photos of the raid. Government offices are closed this week for the New Year holidays.

It is unclear how Mr Ghosn avoided the tight surveillance he was under in Japan and escaped to Lebanon.

Mr Ghosn said he left for Lebanon because he thought the Japanese judicial system was unjust, and he wanted to avoid “political persecution”.

Details of how Carlos Ghosn escaped from Japan are unclear (Koji Sasahara/AP)

He said he would talk to reporters next week.

Japan does not have an extradition treaty with Lebanon.

Lebanon has said Mr Ghosn entered the country legally, and there was no reason to take action against him.

His lawyers in Japan said they had no knowledge of the escape and they had all his passports. Mr Ghosn has French, Lebanese and Brazilian citizenship.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK TV, without identifying sources, reported that Mr Ghosn had two French passports.

Earlier Japanese reports said there were no official records in Japan of Mr Ghosn’s departure, but a private jet had left from a regional airport to Turkey.

Prosecutors enter Carlos Ghosn’s residence (Yuki Sato/Kyodo News via AP)

The Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency said Turkish authorities had detained seven people as part of an investigation into how Mr Ghosn fled to Lebanon via Istanbul.

The private DHA news agency reported that those detained are four pilots, a cargo company manager and two airport workers.

The Hurriyet newspaper said the plane carrying Mr Ghosn landed at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport at 5.30am local time on December 29.

The paper reported that Mr Ghosn was not registered upon landing and was smuggled on board another plane that left for Lebanon.

Mr Ghosn, who was charged with under-reporting his future compensation and breach of trust, has repeatedly asserted his innocence, saying authorities trumped up charges to prevent a possible fuller merger between Nissan Motor Company and alliance partner Renault SA.

His 1.5 billion yen bail that Mr Ghosn posted on two separate instances to get out of detention is being revoked.