Arrest warrant for Ghosn's wife a 'pathetic' move by Japan, spokeswoman says

Reuters



BEIRUT — A decision by Japanese prosecutors to issue an arrest warrant for Carlos Ghosn's wife shortly before the fugitive car boss was due to speak publicly about his case was "pathetic," a spokeswoman for Ghosn told Reuters on Tuesday.

The ousted Nissan Motor and Renault chairman fled to Lebanon, his childhood home, in late December from Japan, where he faced trial for alleged financial misconduct.

Ghosn is expected to speak on Wednesday at a news conference in Beirut and detail some of the claims he has made against Nissan since his arrest in November 2018. He has alleged there was a Japanese government-backed coup to oust him. It's his first such appearance since his arrest in November 2018.

"Last time Carlos Ghosn announced a press conference and got re-arrested. This time, the day before he is announced to speak out freely for the first time, they issued an arrest warrant for his wife Carole Ghosn," the spokeswoman said.

Japanese prosecutors issued the warrant for Ghosn's wife Carole for perjury, Japanese media reported.

The spokeswoman said Carole Ghosn voluntarily went back to Japan nine months ago to answer prosecutors' questions and was free to go without any charges.

"The issuance of this warrant is pathetic," she said.

Japan is looking for a way to extradite Ghosn, but Lebanon and Japan have no extradition agreement and Lebanon does not normally extradite its own citizens.

The perjury arrest warrant accuses Carole Ghosn of falsely claiming not to know, or to have met, people connected to a company that received payments from Nissan Motor, part of which it subsequently transferred to a firm owned by Ghosn.

Separately, a senior Ministry of Justice official said staff were poring over Lebanese laws to find a way to return Ghosn and that Japan "will do whatever it can" to have him face trial.

 

Naming names at Nissan

Ghosn is expected to detail some of the claims he has made against Nissan since his arrest.

Citing an interview with Ghosn, Fox Business reported that he said he has "actual evidence" and documents to show there was a Japanese government-backed coup to "take him out." He plans to identify those he believes responsible, the broadcaster said.

In earlier court filings seen by Reuters and statements released by his lawyers in Japan, Ghosn has claimed that he was unseated to destroy any possibility of a merger between Nissan and Renault, accusing Nissan executives of colluding with Japanese prosecutors and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry officials.

Ghosn's legal team in Japan also said prosecutors withheld evidence, citing concerns voiced by Nissan that it included sensitive information about operations and employees.

Nissan said Ghosn's flight from Japan would not affect its policy of holding him responsible for "serious misconduct."

"The company will continue to take appropriate legal action to hold Ghosn accountable for the harm that his misconduct has caused to Nissan," the automaker said in a statement.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga, on Tuesday, described Ghosn's escape to Beirut as "regrettable" and said Tokyo had asked Lebanon for help, although he declined to say what exactly Japan had asked of Lebanon.

"It's necessary to carefully consider the legal systems of both countries," he told a news conference,

 

 

 

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