Paris-French prosecutor issued an international arrest warrant for Carlos Ghosn, a disgraceful car tycoon who fled Japan for Lebanon in 2019.
The Prosecutor’s Office in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris, said Friday it issued warrants to the former chiefs of Nissan and Renault and four others, based on an investigation into money laundering and abuse of corporate assets.
Prosecutors are investigating millions of dollars in suspect payments made between the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Oman’s car dealership, Suhail Burwan Automobiles (SBA).
The former head of the Nissan-Renault alliance fled to Lebanon in 2019 while on bail in the face of financial misconduct in Japan. He denies cheating.
Ghosn said he learned about the new warrant through the media on Friday and said he was forbidden to leave Lebanon anyway.
“I’m ready to protect myself,” he told BFM TV in France. He repeatedly claimed that he had not received money from Omani distributors and that there was “no embezzlement.”
Ghosn questioned the timing of the arrest warrant to Lebanese television station Al Jadeed late Friday, adding that he had planned to retire in Lebanon long ago.
“The timing is amazing. Will such a warrant be issued two days before the (French) presidential election?” Gone said. “This makes us a little suspicious. It smells bad.”
Asked if it could cause a crisis between France and Lebanon, Ghosn said: I think we need an understanding between the two countries. “
He said French and Japanese judiciary should work with Lebanese authorities to send the case to Beirut, and Lebanese judiciary could see if there was any misconduct. Otherwise, he said, a trial would be held in France in his absence.
The Nanterre Public Prosecutor’s Office described the warrant as the next step in an ongoing investigation. This is one of two separate cases involving French Gone.
In an interview with The Associated Press last year, Gone decided to confidently invigorate and fight to regain his reputation.
A statement sent to AP by his PR team on Friday called the French warrant “amazing” and Ghosn was “judicially banned from leaving Lebanon’s territory” and was ineffective. I suggested that.
Lebanon does not hand over citizens. Ghosn has citizenship in Lebanon, France and Brazil.