'Just Another Thief!' How Are Lebanese People Reacting to Carlos Ghosn Fleeing to Lebanon?

Published December 31st, 2019 - 08:27 GMT
'Just Another Thief!' How Are Lebanese People Reacting to Carlos Ghosn Fleeing to Lebanon?
Ghosn reportedly flew to Lebanon in a private jet after arriving at Turkey. (Twitter)

Hours after his unexpected arrival in Lebanon, news of Brazilian-born French businessman of Lebanese ancestry Carlos Ghosn's escape from a trial in Japan has sparked controversy across social media in Lebanon and around the world. 

The former head of carmakers Renault and Nissan apparently fled Japan where he was under strict surveillance over financial misconduct charges. The 65 year-old recently arrived in Lebanon where he lived between the ages 6 to 17.

In a statement, Ghosn confirmed that he has departed Japan saying, “I have not fled justice, I have escaped injustice and political persecution.”

According to MTV Lebanon, a musical band visited Ghosn's house for a Christmas carol sometime last week and managed by the end of the evening to smuggle the businessman in a musical instrument box from a local airport.

Ghosn reportedly flew to Lebanon in a private jet after arriving in Turkey, and has already met with the Lebanese president.

Translation: "MTV: Carlos Ghosn left Japan in a box intended to transfer music instruments, and stopped in Turkey before taking a private jet to Lebanon. He has met the president a few hours ago."

Lebanese social media users expressed their shock over the news of Ghosn's arrival and wondered if there was a deal between the governments of Lebanon and Japan to help him escape jail. 

They began speculating after the Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs visited Lebanon on December 20, where he met with the Lebanese President Michel Aoun and other key Lebanese politicians.

Translation: "There must be a deal. He can't leave Japan that easily, especially that a Japanese senior official was in Lebanon a few days ago."

Other Lebanese social media activists linked his arrival in Lebanon with the on-going political turmoil against government corruption since protests began on October 17th.

Some suggested that the long-standing environment of corruption made Lebanon a convenient choice for him to seek safety, where "thieves are never held accountable."

Some commentators also speculated about whether or not he will be nominated for an official post in the upcoming Lebanese government.

Translation: "We've started a revolution to get rid of the thieves in the country, but now they've brought us another one. Why don't they understand our demands!"

Translation: "He is facing trial in Japan, which can never happen in Lebanon."

Translation: "Carlos Ghosn is a fugitive from justice, nothing more and nothing less. Being a successful Lebanese doesn't mean that we have to defend him with no regard for his actions. He might be innocent and might not, but he doesn't get to decide that. The court does."

Translation: "This class-based alliance will always keep protecting itself by bringing in spies and in some cases corrupts like Carlos Ghosn. The fight continues because of the class system, that's all."

Translation: "Remember that he will be nominated as a minister, and they will justify it by his success in rescuing Nissan and Renault from bankruptcy." 

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