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31 December 2019 16:35

Carlos Ghosn Nissan Japan

Carlos Ghosn reportedly fled house arrest in Japan in a musical instrument case, in an audacious Hollywood movie-style escape masterminded by his wife, Carole, with the assistance of a Gregorian music band and a team of ex-special forces officers. The escape began when the band arrived at his home in Tokyo, where Ghosn has been held under house arrest and strict police surveillance, according to Lebanese TV news channel MTV. News of the escape came as surprise to the Japanese authorities – who have charged Ghosn with falsifying records about his personal pay in order to enrich himself – and Ghosn's own legal team. The Japanese ambassador to Lebanon, Matahiro Yamaguchi, was at a party in Beirut when news of Ghosn's successful escape started leaking out at about 6pm local time on Monday. The news channel said a person resembling Ghosn was recorded by Lebanese officials as entering the country at Beirut airport under a different name.

In a brief statement issued on Tuesday, Mr Ghosn said: "I am now in Lebanon and will no longer be held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system where guilt is presumed, discrimination is rampant, and basic human rights are denied. Hong Kong riot police broke up a solidarity rally for China's Uighurs--with one officer drawing a pistol--as the city's pro-democracy movement likened their plight to that of the oppressed Muslim minority AFP via Getty 10/50 21 December 2019 Children react as a Bengal tiger licks the glass surrounding its enclosure during the "Animal Christmas Party", where the youths were treated to a tour of the Malabon Zoo, in Manila AFP via Getty 11/50 20 December 2019 In this long exposure photo, the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the Boeing Starliner crew capsule lifts off on an orbital flight test to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral AP 12/50 19 December 2019 A freediver wearing a Father Christmas outfit poses underwater off the coast of the northern city of Batroun AFP via Getty 13/50 18 December 2019 People rally in support of the impeachment of US President Donald Trump in front of the US Capitol, as the House readies for the historic vote AFP via Getty 14/50 17 December 2019 Protesters set fire to dumpsters and tires as they block a road in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon AFP via Getty 15/50 16 December 2019 People ride a merry-go-round at the Christmas Market at the Red Square in Moscow AFP via Getty 16/50 15 December 2019 The Red Rebels, part of the Extinction Rebellion Australia demonstrator group, participate in a climate protest rally in Sydney. Hong Kong is in its sixth month of mass protests, which were originally triggered by a now withdrawn extradition bill, and have since turned into a wider pro-democracy movement EPA 34/50 27 November 2019 Rescuers with a dog search through the rubble of a collapsed building after an earthquake in Durres, western Albania AP 35/50 26 November 2019 A shepherd leads a flock of sheep on a pontoon bridge in Allahabad AFP via Getty 36/50 25 November 2019 North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects a female company belonging to 5492 troops KCNA via Reuters 37/50 24 November 2019 A protester jumps between burning tires during ongoing anti-government protests in Basra, Iraq Reuters 38/50 23 November 2019 Fans dressed as Star Wars characters during day three of the first Test between Australia and Pakistan at The Gabba in Australia Getty 39/50 22 November 2019 Pope Francis speaks with religious leaders during a meeting at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand Reuters 40/50 21 November 2019 A girl injured in last night's attack by the Syrian regime on a camp for displaced people near the Turkish border in Idlib, Syria is held up to the camera AFP/Getty 41/50 20 November 2019 Indian paramilitary soldiers detain a Congress party supporter during a protest against the withdrawal of Special Protection Group (SPG) cover to party president Sonia Gandhi, her children and former prime minister Manmohan Singh, in New Delh. The move to lift off the SPG security, an elite force that protects prime ministers and their immediate families, led to sharp reactions from the Congress, which accused the government of personal vendetta AP 42/50 19 November 2019 An image taken from a plane window shows Sydney shrouded in smoke from nearby bush fires AAP Imagevia Reuters 43/50 18 November 2019 Protesters run for cover after riot police fired tear gas towards the bridge they were climbing down to the road below, to escape from Hong Kong Polytechnic University. According to state media, Lebanon's General Security Directorate intelligence agency said Mr Ghosn entered the country legally and no legal measures would be taken against him.

Lebanon does not have an extradition treaty with Japan, according to Japan's justice ministry, making it unlikely that he could be forced to return to Tokyo to face trial. A person resembling Mr Ghosn entered Beirut's Rafic al-Hariri International Airport under a different name after flying in on a private jet, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported, citing an unidentified Lebanese security official. His lawyers have asked the court to dismiss all charges, accusing prosecutors of colluding with government officials and Nissan executives to oust him to block any takeover of the by Renault.