Fugitive Carlos Ghosn loses defense team after escape from Japan

Jan. 16 (UPI) — Multiple attorneys representing former Nissan Chairman and fugitive Carlos Ghosn have walked away from the case due to his elaborate escape from Japan last month.

Lead attorney Junichiro Hironaka told reporters in Tokyo of his resignation and NHK reported other members of the defense team had also left. They were hired to defend Ghosn on Japanese charges that say he defrauded investors by understating his salary and misappropriated Nissan funds.

The disgraced former executive jumped bail last month by hiding in a musical instrument case and boarding a flight to Lebanon. Ghosn later said he was a “political prisoner” in Japan and receiving a fair trial there was impossible.

Japanese Justice Minister Masako Mori answered last week that Ghosn was targeted because he propagated “false information on Japan’s legal system and its practice.”

The Anadolu news agency, a state-run outlet, posted new images from surveillance video Thursday that shows new footage of the airport in Istanbul during Ghosn’s Dec. 29 escape. In the video, the report said, two purported accomplices can be seen at control checkpoints.

A Turkish business executive, who has been arrested, helped Ghosn out of the case and into a waiting car that took them to a plane, the report said. Ghosn eventually landed in Beirut.