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Ghosn presented French passport on arrival in Lebanon


Tokyo: While investigating ousted Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn's escape to Lebanon from Tokyo, it was revealed by authorities in Beirut that he legally entered the country via Turkey on board a private jet and that he presented a French passport at immigration, a media report said on Thursday.

But Ghosn's chief defence lawyer in Tokyo, Junichiro Hironaka told reporters here on Wednesday that the defence team has all of Ghosn's passports, including his French one, Japan's public broadcaster NHK said in the report.

Ghosn, 65, is a citizen of France, Brazil and Lebanon.

Citing informed sources, French newspaper Le Monde reported that the former Chairma's private jet departed for Turkey from a low-profile airport in Japan.

But there was no record of Ghosn's departure in the database of the Japanese Immigration Services Agency, the NHK report added.

Aviation industry sources say private jets are not excepted from immigration and customs' checks on departure, but X-ray checks of luggage are applied on a case-by-case basis.

The development comes after Ghosn, who is on bail for various charges of financial mismanagement during his time at the head of the automobile company, confirmed on Monday that he was currently in Lebanon, saying he decided to escape Japan to not become a "hostage" of the Asian country's justice, Efe news reported.

"I am in Lebanon. I am no longer a hostage of a Japanese judicial system where guilt presumption prevails, where discrimination is generalized and where Human Rights are breached," he said in a statement.

Ghosn was arrested in November 2018 but was released on bail in April. He faces four charges of alleged financial irregularities during his tenure at the helm of Nissan Motor.

Meanwhile, Japanese prosecutors on Thursday began searching a residence in Tokyo where Ghosn lived while out on bail, NHK reported.

They are searching the home in Minato Ward on suspicion that Ghosn left Japan through illegal means.

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