France has issued an international arrest warrant for Carlos Ghosn, the disgraced auto tycoon who jumped bail in Japan and fled to Lebanon in a sensational getaway, prosecutors told AFP on Friday.
The warrant was issued over 15 million euros ($16.3 million) 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.
Ghosn, then chief of Nissan chief and 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.
He said he fled because he did not believe he would get a fair trial in Japan, where prosecutors have a nearly 99 percent conviction rate in cases that go to trial.
He also said that Nissan colluded with prosecutors to have him arrested because he wanted to deepen the Japanese firm’s alliance with Renault.
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