Interpol Issues Arrest Warrant for Ex-Nissan Boss Ghosn to Lebanon
Ghosn has become an international fugitive after he disclosed on Tuesday he had fled to Lebanon to escape what he called a’rigged’ justice system in Japan, where he faces charges relating to alleged financial crimes. Sources near Ghosn said a delay to a trial and a strict ban on communication with his wife encouraged him to proceed with a plan to use a private security company to smuggle him from Japan via private jet.
The Interpol red notice, which calls on authorities to arrest a wanted person, was obtained by Lebanon’s internal security forces and has yet to be referred to the judiciary, a Lebanese judicial source told Reuters. A senior Lebanese security official said it wasn’t yet clear if Ghosn would be summoned for questioning over the warrant but stated Lebanon doesn’t extradite its citizens to foreign nations. In previous cases in which Lebanon has received red notices for Lebanese citizens resident in the country, the suspects have not been arrested but their passports have been confiscated and bail has been set, the judicial source said. Ghosn holds Lebanese French and Brazilian citizenship.
He has deep ties to Lebanon, the country of his childhood, where his investments include a stake in a vineyard, real estate and a bank. Sources near Ghosn said although the presidency denied such a meeting took place, he met with President Michel Aoun shortly and was greeted warmly. Speaking to broadcaster MTV caretaker defense minister Elias Bou Saab said Lebanon played no role from Japan in the exit of Ghosn. Turkish police on Thursday detained seven people, including four pilots into the passing of Ghosn through the country, a police spokeswoman said.
The spokeswoman said the other detainees were two airport ground staff and one freight worker, and all seven were expected to provide statements in court on Thursday. Flight tracking data indicates Ghosn used two planes to fly to Istanbul and then to Lebanon. Trial Delayed The sources near Ghosn said he was motivated to flee after a recent court session where he discovered that the second of two trials would be delayed until April 2021. ‘They said they had to get ready for it.
He was distressed about not being able to see or talk to his wife,’ one of the sources close to Ghosn said. A request to see or speak to his wife over Christmas was denied, the sources added, his bond was set on by a part of strict conditions. The sources said Ghosn had grown desperate that authorities pressured his household following his son and daughter were questioned by Japanese prosecutors in the United States in early December, to draw a confession from him. In just his second public comment since landing in Beirut, Ghosn said in a statement his family played no role whatsoever in his exit from Japan.
‘I arranged for my departure,’ he said. Ghosn was arrested in Tokyo in November 2018 and faces four charges for financial crimes including concealing income and enriching himself. Public broadcaster NHK said on Thursday Japanese authorities allowed Ghosn to take a French passport in a situation while out on bail shedding some light on how despite having passports held by attorneys, he managed to escape. No one was immediately available for comment at the office of Ghosn’s lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, in the French embassy in Tokyo, or at the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office. Nissan ousted him saying investigations revealed misconduct including transferring $ 5 million of Nissan funds to an account in which he had an interest, and understating his wages while he was its chief executive.