Carlos Ghosn’s escape to Lebanon from Japan followed weeks of planning by associates aimed at getting the former auto executive to a country they believed would provide a more friendly legal environment to try the claims of financial wrongdoing against him, according to people familiar with the matter.

Last weekend, a team assembled to carry out his exfiltration, aided by accomplices in Japan, sprung the plan into action, one of these people said. Mr. Ghosn was spirited from his court-monitored residence in Tokyo onto a private…

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