Reuters has learned that Carlos Ghosn, Nissan's former boss and now international fugitive, may have escaped house arrest after his lawyers warned a private security company to stop its surveillance of his home.
That's according to three Reuters sources.
Nissan hired the security firm to monitor who visited Ghosn as he awaited trial.
The sources say lawyers told the company that the surveillance was a violation of his human rights, and that Ghosn was planning a legal complaint over it.
Surveillance is said to have stopped by December 29, two days before his getaway.
Footage released by Japanese state broadcaster NHK appeared to show Ghosn caught on CCTV leaving the building alone shortly before he fled.
However, upon hearing Ghosn had disappeared from the Tokyo residence on New Year's Eve, his lawyer Junichiro Hironaka spoke of his own shock at the news.
(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) LAWYER FOR FORMER NISSAN CHAIRMAN CARLOS GHOSN, JUNICHIRO HIRONAKA, SAYING: "It was an unexpected surprise.
I'm shocked and confused.
I'd like to say that's the situation I'm in now." The former auto heavyweight fled to Lebanon, with a stopover in Turkey, to escape what he called a "rigged" justice system in Japan.
Ghosn faces charges relating to alleged financial crimes.
He denies it all - a victim of a boardroom coup, he says.
The report casts doubt on earlier claims he was smuggled out in a musical instrument case.
Aircraft operator MNG Jet says its planes were used illegally and sources have previously said a private security company may have helped orchestrate his escape.
It's now filed a criminal complaint, and Turkey has detained seven people over the incident, including four pilots.
Lebanon received an Interpol arrest warrant for Ghosn on Thursday (January 2).
The country has no extradition treaty with Japan.