Carlos Ghosn Says Being an International Fugitive Is ‘Such a Joke,’ Not a Fan of Interpol

The former Nissan CEO has a few choice words about Interpol.

byPeter Holderith|
Nissan News photo

Recently, The Drive's Editor-in-Chief Kyle Cheromcha interviewed Carlos Ghosn, the former Nissan CEO that, in 2019, made a fantastic escape from Japan in an audio equipment box after being arrested on charges of false accounting. The former auto executive insists he's innocent and he has a lot to say in the full interview, which you should definitely read. One interesting snippet of that interview, however, is how the 67-year old feels about being an international fugitive. He doesn't take it very seriously, as it turns out. In fact, it's caused him to take a very dark-humored approach to the entire Japanese criminal justice system.

Speaking to The Drive, Ghosn called his criminal status "a tragic joke," and mocked not only Interpol's decision to transmit Japan's demand that he be arrested, but also the very nature of the organization itself. "These guys have no opinion," he said in the interview. "They don’t examine anything."

For those who aren't aware, all of this started after Ghosn's fantastic getaway to Lebanon, which is where he has been living since his flight from Japan. The executive says that several things led to his decision to escape, including the island nation's remarkably high conviction rate and the fact that he was held for more than a month in solitary confinement while awaiting trial, even before receiving any formal punishment as a result of his alleged crimes. Considering those factors, it's evident why he considers his current status as an international fugitive preferable to any potential consequences that awaited him had he stayed in Japan.


Ghosn claims that while he does indeed think on a daily basis about the fact he's wanted by Interpol, he considers the entire situation absurd. "[It’s] such a joke, that’s the way I qualify it. It’s a tragic joke," he said. "You have one state asking for the arrest of a citizen, they transmit it to Interpol, Interpol doesn’t make any judgment about how serious is this accusation, they just distribute it all over the world. That’s how it happens."

Ghosn went on to note that the United Nations has said his human rights were violated, which should mean Interpol can't act in his case. But that, apparently, isn't what's happening, though. "I have the United Nations taking a clear position, saying my arrest in Japan was arbitrary, my human rights have been violated," he told us. "It’s in the rules of Interpol that if an issue is political, or if human rights are being violated, they cannot act. OK? So they’re going against their own principles just because probably Japan is one of the payers to Interpol. And they are turning a blind eye on everything."

The former CEO, then, clearly sees his arrest as an issue of corruption and politics, not from any actual wrongdoing on his part. He maintains he's simply a victim of an unfair system. Though several of the people who helped Ghosn escape have been arrested, Ghosn himself has so far not been caught up in any trouble from the Lebanese government—which is a member of Interpol. 

He puts the real blame on Japan. "Since I came to Beirut, I’ve been contacted by many foreigners who have been through the same treatment in Japan," he said. "There’s clear discrimination against the foreigner when it comes to [its] justice system. When you look at the whole hostage justice system, it’s the dark side of Japan appearing.

"The whole thing is, frankly... it’s a joke."

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