Lebanon questions auto tycoon Ghosn after Interpol notice

BEIRUT (AP) — A judge on Monday questioned disgraced auto tycoon Carlos Ghosn in Beirut, days after Lebanon received a wanted notice for him from Interpol, judicial officials said.

Lebanon received a new Red Notice from Interpol 10 days ago, after the French prosecutor’s office in the Paris suburb of Nanterre said last month that it issued an international arrest warrant for the former head of Nissan and Renault and four other people based on an investigation opened in 2019 into money laundering and abuse of company assets.

Ghosn was questioned over money laundering and benefiting from deals for Nissan and Renault and was allowed to leave after the questioning, said the judicial officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

The Lebanese judge, Imad Kabalan, a public prosecutor at the Court of Cassation, asked French authorities to hand over the details of the case filed against Ghosn and “if it is proven that he had committed crimes of money laundering and abuse of company assets,” he will be put on trial in Lebanon since he holds Lebanese citizenship, the judge added.

A Red Notice is not an arrest warrant and does not require Lebanon to arrest Ghosn.

It was the second Red Notice that Lebanon received in the case; the first was issued in January 2020, a few days after Ghosn fled Japan for Lebanon in a gripping escape.

Prosecutors are investigating millions of dollars in alleged suspect payments made between the Renault-Nissan alliance and Suhail Bahwan Automobiles, a vehicle distributor company in Oman.

Ghosn noted last month after the French arrest warrant was issued that he’s barred from leaving Lebanon anyway.

Lebanon does not extradite its citizens. Ghosn has citizenship in Lebanon, France and Brazil.

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