The International Criminal Police Organization, better known as Interpol, has issued an arrest warrant to Lebanon filed for the former Nissan Motor Company Ltd. (OTC: NSANY) chairman Carlos Ghosn who is allegedly staying in Lebanon right now, Japan's public broadcaster NHK reported on Thursday.
Ghosn fled to Lebanon's capital Beirut from Japan, where he is facing charges of financial misconduct.
"I am now in Lebanon and will no longer be held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system where guilt is presumed, discrimination is rampant and basic human rights are denied," Ghosn had said in a statement on New Year's eve, as reported by NHK.
Lebanon's Minister of Justice Albert Aziz Serhan confirmed to NHK that it received an international wanted notice form Interpol and told the broadcaster that the authorities would respond to the request "based on law," and accordingly question Ghosn.
Serhan said that the former Nissan CEO "entered Lebanon with legitimate documentation." There's no extradition treaty between Lebanon and Japan, as noted by the NHK.
Ghosn is reported to have fled Japan via Istanbul, from where he embarked on a private jet to Beirut.
Turkey authorities are investigating the case, and have detained seven people, including four pilots, suspected to have helped Ghosn flee the country, according to local newspaper Hurriyet Daily News.
The NHK reported that Ghosn holds nationalities of three countries, including Lebanon, France, and Brazil.
While the Japanese authorities seized his Lebanese and Brazilian passports as a condition of his bail, he was allowed to carry one of the two French passports he held in a "locked case."
The Lebanese authorities said that a man believed to be Ghosn entered Lebanon using a French passport, NHK reported. Japanese authorities have no record of Ghosn leaving the country.
Why It Matters
Ghosn was set to face trial later this year on various financial misconduct charges, including under-reporting his compensation, using company assets for personal use, and alleged shifting of personal losses of about $16.6 million to Nissan.
The Japanese court has redacted Ghosn's bail following his escape, according to NHK.