“These people are pilots and haven’t been able to do their jobs for over a year. They have not been making any money for a year,” Mehmet Rusen Gultekin said.
Gultekin said his client was not aware of the scheme to smuggle Ghosn and expressed hope that he would be acquitted at the next hearing.
Ghosn, who was arrested over financial misconduct allegations in Tokyo in 2018, skipped bail while awaiting trial last year. He was flown from Osaka to Istanbul and then transferred onto another plane bound for Beirut, where he arrived Dec. 30. He is believed to have been smuggled inside a large, foam-covered music box.
The pilots and flight attendants have denied involvement in the plans to smuggle Ghosn or of knowing that Ghosn was aboard the flights.
The airline official, Okan Kosemen, claimed he was made aware that Ghosn was on board the flight from Osaka to Istanbul after the plane landed. He admitted helping smuggle Ghosn onto the second, Beirut-bound plane, but claimed he was threatened and feared for his family’s safety.
Turkish airline company MNG Jet said in January that two of its planes were used illegally in Ghosn’s escape, flying him from Osaka to Istanbul, and then to Beirut. The company said at the time that its employee had admitted to falsifying flight records so that Ghosn’s name didn’t appear on them.