An Istanbul court opened the trial this Friday, July 3, of seven Turkish nationals accused of helping the former boss of the Renault-Nissan alliance Carlos Ghosn in his incredible flight from Japan in late 2019. According to the agency press release Anadolu, four pilots and a senior official of a private jet rental company risk up to eight years in prison for " smuggling of organized gangs ".
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In this case, two flight attendants also risk a year in prison for " not reporting a crime ". Last December, Mr. Ghosn fled Japan, where he is accused of financial embezzlement, during an exfiltration operation worthy of a spy film. He has since taken refuge in Lebanon, which has no extradition treaty with Japan. During a highly publicized press conference, he posed as the victim of a “ set-up ” and assured that he had had “ no other choice ” than to flee from “ biased ” justice .
MNG Jet is a civil party
After leaving Osaka (western Japan), the private jet transporting Mr. Ghosn first landed in Istanbul. The latter then changed planes to go to Beirut. It is this stage that interests the Turkish authorities. According to the Turkish prosecutor, two alleged accomplices of Mr. Ghosn, Michael Taylor, a former member of the US special forces, and George-Antoine Zayek, a Lebanese national, " recruited " an executive of the Turkish company MNG Jet, Okan Kösemen , to ensure smooth transit to Istanbul.
MNG Jet, who owned the two aircraft used for the escape, brought a civil action, claiming that its jets had been used " illegally " and that Mr. Ghosn's presence on board had not been declared. According to the Turkish indictment, Mr. Ghosn was concealed during the journey in a bulky case for a musical instrument in which 70 holes had been drilled to allow the fugitive to breathe.
Mr. Kösemen, who is on remand, received several transfers totaling more than 250,000 euros in the months before Mr. Ghosn fled, according to the indictment.