Turkish prosecutors have prepared an indictment charging seven individuals, including four pilots, in relation to the escape of former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn’s via Istanbul to Lebanon after escaping Japan, a lawyer for one of the suspects stated on Friday.
The lawyer said the indictment, accepted by an Istanbul court on Thursday, officially charged the four pilots and a company executive with “migrant smuggling”, a crime that could result in maximum sentence of eight years in jail.
Two flight attendants were charged with failure to report a crime, which can carry a jail sentence of about one year, lawyer Mehmet Fatih Danaci informed Reuters.
The prosecutors’ office is yet to comment.
Turkish police detained the suspects on January 2 and an interior ministry official was mentioned at the time as saying that Turkish border police were not informed about Ghosn’s entry and that neither his entry nor his exit were registered.
After that day, Turkish private jet operator MNG Jet stated the former Nissan boss had used two of its planes unlawfully in his escape from Japan, with an employee misrepresenting lease records to exclude his name from the documents.
MNG Jet, which had submitted a criminal complaint for the illegal use of its aircraft, stated on Friday that it welcomed the prosecutor’s decision and will continue to work with “Turkish and Japanese authorities to bring justice”.
Ghosn has said he fled to Lebanon to escape what he referred as “injustice” system in Japan, where he faces charges over alleged financial misconduct. Ghosn has denied these charges.