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Lebanon issues travel ban for Ghosn, ex-Nissan boss

EPA-EFE/NABIL MOUNZER
Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn (C) speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Lebanon, 08 January 2020.

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Lebanon’s State Prosecutor Judge Ghassan Oueidat imposed on Thursday a travel ban on Carlos Ghosn, former boss of Nissan, to prevent him from leaving the country, after questioning him over the content of the Red Notice alert issued by the Japanese judiciary.
Ghosn gave a press conference in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut on Wednesday, for the first time since he fled Japan on 29 December 2019.
During the two-and-a-half hours press conference, the fugitive businessman defended his innocence over accusations of financial misconduct and slammed Japan’s justice system which he described as “corrupt and hostile system that presumed my guilt from day one.”
“I did not escape justice, I fled injustice and political persecution,” said Ghosn.
Ghosn supported that he is a victim of a collusion between Nissan, the Japanese government and prosecutors, who “thought the only way to get rid of the influence of Renault over Nissan was to get rid of me, and, unfortunately, they were right.”
“Why am I being treated like a terrorist in Japan? Like I am going to hurt people? What did I do to deserve this?” Ghosn said emphatically. The fugitive businessman has pledged for more details about his plans to “clear his name” in the coming weeks.
Japan’s Justice Minister Mosako Mori released a statement after Ghosn’s comments over the country’s justice system, calling his escape “absolutely intolerable”, as he could have filed a suit if his detainment conditions were unacceptable.
Lebanon’s national agency issued a statement on the same day saying that Nissan’s former CEO will be questioned on Thursday by the Lebanese prosecutor over Interpol’s warrant.

Who is Carlos Ghosn and why is he being chased by Interpol?
Ghosn is the 64-year-old multimillionaire former head of Renault, who was also CEO of Nissan for 17 years.
The businessman has been arrested four times from November 2018 to April 2019, over accusations of under-reporting his income for years, shifting personal losses to Nissan and using corporate money for personal purposes. In his first court appearance in January 2019, Ghosn denied any wrongdoing and was freed on bail.
“The court released defendant Ghosn on bail because he promised to comply with the bail conditions that he must not hide/run away or travel abroad, but he fled Japan and ran away from his criminal trial. Such action would not be condoned under any nation’s system,” Mori said on Wednesday after Ghosn’s press conference.
The ex-boss escaped the country on the eve of 2020, awaiting trial on financial misconduct charges. After his escape, Interpol, the international police agency issued a “Red Notice” informing the Lebanese authorities that Ghosn is wanted by Japanese police, as Ghosn was officially a justice fugitive.
 
 
 
 

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