BEIRUT/TOKYO – Ousted Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn decided to flee Japan after learning that his trial had been delayed until April 2021 and also because he had not been allowed to speak to his wife, sources close to Ghosn said Thursday.
Ghosn, one of the world’s best-known executives, has become Japan’s most famous fugitive after he revealed Tuesday he had fled to Lebanon to escape what he called a “rigged” justice system.
Sources close to Ghosn said he learned at a recent court hearing that one of his two trials in Japan would be delayed until April 2021 from an original date of September 2020. There was not a firm date set for either trial but at least one was widely expected to start in April 2020.
“They said they needed another whole year to prepare for it. … He was distressed about not being able to see or speak to his wife,” one of the sources close to Ghosn said.
Under the terms of his bail, Ghosn was prevented from communicating with his wife, Carole, and had his use of the Internet and other communications restricted while confined to his house in Tokyo.
A request to see or speak to his wife over Christmas was denied, the sources said.
The sources also said Ghosn was unnerved by news that his daughter and son had been questioned by Japanese prosecutors in the United States in early December and was convinced authorities were looking to force a confession from him by putting pressure on his family.
No one was immediately available for comment at the office of Ghosn’s lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka or at the French Embassy in Tokyo, or at the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Ghosn was first arrested in Tokyo in November 2018 and faces four charges, including hiding income and enriching himself through payments to car dealerships in the Middle East. He denies the charges.