Turkish jet company offers Japanese ambassador cooperation in Ghosn case

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Carlos Ghosn PHOTO: CNN

The Turkish operator of private jets that ex-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn used to flee Japan said on Wednesday it met with the Japanese ambassador to Turkey and offered to cooperate with the authorities in that country over the incident, Reuters reported.

Ghosn became an international fugitive last week after he revealed he had fled to Lebanon, via Istanbul, to escape what he called a “rigged” justice system in Japan, where he faces charges relating to alleged financial crimes.

“The company met with the Japanese ambassador in Ankara to offer to cooperate with the authorities,” said a spokesperson for Turkey-based MNG Jet, which has said it was unaware Ghosn flew on its jets from Osaka.

MNG has filed a criminal complaint, saying one of its employees falsified documents to facilitate the escape.

Separately, a Turkish police source told Reuters that Ghosn changed planes on the tarmac at Istanbul Ataturk Airport, which was closed to commercial flights last year. The planes were reportedly sitting 25 meters apart.

CCTV footage released by the state-run Anadolu news agency showed a figure crossing the tarmac towards a jet.

Turkish authorities have launched an investigation into Ghosn’s transit through Istanbul and detained five people including four pilots.

Japanese authorities has not demanded legal cooperation from Turkey, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul said on Saturday.

Ghosn, who was first arrested in Tokyo in November 2018, faces four charges — which he denies — including hiding income and enriching himself through payments to dealerships in the Middle East.

He told a news conference in Beirut on Wednesday that the charges against him were baseless. “I am here to clear my name. These allegations are untrue, and I should never have been arrested in the first place,” he said.

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