Tokyo prosecutors raid residence of former Nissan boss Ghosn: NHK

The view of a house where former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn is believed to have lived before he fled to Lebanon, in Tokyo, Japan, on Jan 1, 2020.
The view of a house where former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn is believed to have lived before he fled to Lebanon, in Tokyo, Japan, on Jan 1, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (REUTERS, AP) - Tokyo prosecutors on Thursday (Jan 2) raided the residence of former Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn, Japanese public broadcaster NHK said.

Tokyo prosecutors and police did not immediately comment.

Japanese media showed investigators entering the home, which was Ghosn’s third residence in Tokyo since he was first arrested a year ago.

Authorities have now searched each one. Government offices in Japan are closed this week for the New Year’s holidays.

The raid follows Ghosn's surprise escape days ago from Japan, where he was awaiting trial on four charges of financial wrongdoing, to Lebanon.

It is unclear how Ghosn avoided the tight surveillance he was under in Japan and showed up in Lebanon.

Ghosn said Tuesday in a statement that he left for Lebanon because he thought the Japanese judicial system was unjust, and he wanted to avoid "political persecution."

He said he would talk to reporters next week.

Japan does not have an extradition treaty with Lebanon.

Lebanon has said 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.

Ghosn has French, Lebanese and Brazilian citizenship.

NHK, without identifying sources, reported Thursday that Ghosn had two French passports.

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

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 Co and alliance partner Renault SA.

His 1.5 billion yen (S$18.5 million) bail that Ghosn posted on two separate instances to get out of detention is being revoked.