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TOKYO, Jan 3 — Fugitive former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn was caught on a security camera leaving his Tokyo home by himself on the day he is thought to have fled to avoid a Japanese trial, local media reported today.
Ghosn was not seen returning home after leaving around noon on December 29, public broadcaster NHK said, citing people involved in the investigation.
He is thought to have taken a private jet from Kansai Airport in western Japan on that day, heading for Istanbul. It is believed Ghosn headed from there to Beirut.
The news comes a day after prosecutors raided the residence as part of an initial probe into his flight.
NHK said police were analysing other surveillance footage, believing there is a possibility he joined someone to head for the airport.
The camera placed near the entrance of his Tokyo residence showed no suspicious person around the time that Ghosn left, according to NHK and the business daily Nikkei.
Ghosn, who faced multiple charges of financial misconduct that he denies, won bail in April but with strict conditions — including a ban on overseas travel and living under surveillance.
But the executive, who has French, Brazilian and Lebanese nationalities, managed to slip out of Japan on Sunday despite having handed over his three passports to his lawyers.
Ghosn said yesterday through the Paris-based agency handling his public relations that he organised his dramatic escape from bail in Japan alone and that his family had nothing to do with his escape.
According to Japan's Kyodo news agency, Ghosn was smuggled out with the help of two private security operatives who pretended to be part of a group of musicians for a Christmas party at his residence.
Quoting a Lebanese consultant in Tokyo, Kyodo said Ghosn hid in an instrument case before boarding a private jet — a scenario a member of Ghosn's entourage has previously denied.
Interpol, the international police cooperation body, has issued a “red notice” for Ghosn's arrest in the wake of him fleeing Japan, while Turkey announced it was holding seven individuals in connection with his escape.
Ghosn was able to enter Lebanon on a French passport, according to airport documents seen by AFP.
A court in Tokyo had allowed Ghosn to keep a second French passport as he needed one to travel inside Japan, a source close to the matter has told AFP.
According to this source, the court in Tokyo had allowed Ghosn to keep a second French passport so long as it was kept “in a locked case” with the key held by his lawyers. — AFP
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