Turkey Questions Pilots About Carlos Ghosn’s Escape From Japan


Mr. Ghosn was joyous and especially happy to be reunited with Carole, said friend of Mr. Ghosn’s, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a private conversation. He said Mr. Ghosn’s children were expected to gather in Beirut and that “some of them are there” already. He said it was a relief to see Mr. Ghosn so happy because “he had not been for a long time.”

Hours earlier, a French government minister said authorities there would not extradite Mr. Ghosn, a citizen of France, if he arrived there, “because France never extradites its nationals.”

“That’s a rule of the game,” Agnès Pannier-Runacher, a junior economy minister, told the news channel BFM.

In Turkey, the authorities detained seven people suspected of helping Mr. Ghosn escape, according to news outlets there. He reportedly left Japan late Sunday aboard a business jet from Osaka to Istanbul Ataturk Airport, where he quickly switched to another plane and flew to Beirut.

Much about his flight remains unknown, including how he was able to escape surveillance in Japan, how he arranged his flights to Lebanon, and whether he was helped by any other countries. The French foreign ministry declined to comment on reports that Mr. Ghosn had used a French passport to enter Lebanon.

Mr. Ghosn, who has been charged in Japan with an array of financial crimes while chairman of Nissan, was born in Brazil to a Lebanese family, grew up mostly in Lebanon and has lived most of his adult life in France. He has passports from all three countries, though his lawyers in Japan have said that they held the documents.

Turkish news organizations, including the state-run Anadolu news agency, reported that the planes that delivered Mr. Ghosn to Istanbul and Beirut were operated by MNG Jet, a Turkish company that offers chartered flights on business aircraft. Flight tracking websites confirm MNG flights matching Mr. Ghosn’s reported path.


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