TOKYO (AP) — Japanese prosecutors on Thursday raided the Tokyo home of former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn after he skipped bail and fled to Lebanon before his trial on financial misconduct charges.
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 arrested a year ago. Authorities now have searched them all.
Government offices in Japan are closed this week for the New Year holidays.
It is unclear how Ghosn avoided the tight surveillance he was under in Japan and showed up in Lebanon, although some reports say he was smuggled out in a musical instrument case.
Ghosn said Tuesday 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. Now that he has skipped bail, there would be another crime to charge him with, which makes it unlikely he has any plans to return to Japan.
Lebanon said Ghosn entered the country legally, and there was no reason to take action against him.
His attorneys in Japan said they had no knowledge of the escape and they had all his passports. Ghosn has French, Lebanese and Brazilian citizenship.
Japanese public broadcaster NHK TV, 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 underreporting 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 $14 million bail that Ghosn posted on two separate instances to get out of detention is being revoked.