Japan vows to strengthen border departure checks

CANNES FRANCE- MAY 11 CEO of Renault Carlos Ghosn with his wife Caroline Ghosn attend the screening of

Carlos Ghosn and his wife Caroline Ghosn at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2018

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn claims to have "actual evidence" showing that his arrest in Japan was part of an organized attempt to "take him out" for trying to merge the company with French vehicle manufacturer Renault, Fox Business reports.

It said two bookings were made in December by two different clients: one involving a flight from Dubai to Osaka, Japan and from Osaka to Istanbul; and the other a flight from Istanbul to Beirut.

Airport security rules meant large items loaded onto private planes were exempt from screening - a loophole that appears to have allowed Ghosn to escape unnoticed.

Separately, a Japanese government spokesman on Tuesday said Tokyo has sought cooperation from Lebanon regarding Ghosn.

She was banned from meeting with her husband after his release on bail because of fears she might help tamper with evidence.

It is unclear how Ghosn, who holds French, Brazilian and Lebanese citizenship, was able to orchestrate his departure from Japan. They said they were still looking into what could be done.

Japan's foreign ministry said that its ambassador to Beirut planned to meet with Lebanese President Michel Aoun later in the day.

"It's necessary to carefully consider the legal systems of both countries", he told a news conference, referring to any requests for the extradition of a fugitive. Justice minister Masako Mori said Ghosn's "apparently illegal" departure was very regrettable and added there was no record of him leaving the country.

Mori said Japanese officials could still push for Ghosn to be extradited even though the country doesn't have an extradition treaty with Lebanon.

Ghosn, a globe-trotting auto titan who was once a giant of the industry, accuses executives at Japanese automaker Nissan of manufacturing the allegations against him in a "plot" to prevent closer integration with alliance partner Renault. He managed to skip bail and leave the country despite heavy surveillance while he was staying at a home in Tokyo.

The company called for those who facilitated Ghosn's flight to be fully prosecuted.

Ghosn had been accused of not reporting his future compensation and abuse of trust by diverting Nissan's money for personal gain.

Ghosn said in a statement on Tuesday that he had fled to Beirut, capital of Lebanon, to escape "injustice and political persecution". Critics of the Japanese judicial system say his case exemplifies its tendency to move too slowly and keep suspects in detention for too long. "Investigations in France concerning possible misconduct are still ongoing".

An official speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity said a summons was expected to be handed to Ghosn next week, as a result of Interpol issuing a "red notice" against him.

"The consequences of Ghosn's misconduct have been significant".

But his lawyers warned the security company to stop watching him as it would be a violation of his human rights, and Ghosn was planning to file a complaint against the company, the sources said.

Ghosn was arrested in November 2018 on charges of financial crimes and had been out on bail as he awaited trial that was scheduled to start this year.

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