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France Issues International Arrest Warrant for Ex-Nissan Chief

France Issues International Arrest Warrant for Ex-Nissan Chief
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By Staff, Agencies

France issued an international arrest warrant for Carlos Ghosn, the disgraced former Nissan executive who jumped bail in Japan and fled to Lebanon, according to prosecutors.

The warrant was issued on Thursday over €15m [£12.6m] in suspect payments between the Renault-Nissan alliance that Ghosn once headed and an Omani company, Suhail Bahwan Automobiles [SBA], said prosecutors in the Paris suburb of Nanterre.

The allegations involve misuse of company assets, money laundering and corruption.

Ghosn, then the chief of Nissan and the head of an alliance between Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, was detained in Japan in November 2018 on suspicion of financial misconduct, along with his top aide, Greg Kelly. They both denied wrongdoing.

In December 2019, as he awaited trial, Ghosn staged an audacious getaway, being smuggled out of Japan in an audio equipment case on a private jet.

Ghosn, who holds French, Lebanese and Brazilian passports, landed in Beirut, which has no extradition treaty with Japan.

The 68-year-old said he fled because he did not believe he would get a fair trial in Japan, where prosecutors have an almost 99% conviction rate in cases that go to trial.

He also accused Nissan of colluding with prosecutors to have him arrested because he wanted to deepen the Japanese firm’s alliance with Renault.

A statement from his PR team called the French warrant “surprising,” suggesting it was ineffective as Ghosn “is subject to a judicial ban on leaving Lebanese territory.”