Japan issues arrest warrant for Ghosn's wife

Japan issues arrest warrant for Ghosn's wife after multi-millionaire's dramatic escape to Lebanon
3 min read
07 January, 2020
Japan has issued an arrest warrent for Carole Ghosn for giving a false testimony in favour of her husband.
The pair are wanted in Japan [Getty]
Tokyo prosecutors obtained an arrest warrant Tuesday for the wife of Nissan's former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, on suspicion of perjury, adding to the couple's legal troubles in the country where he once was revered as a star executive.

The move against Carole Ghosn, who is not in Japan, followed her husband's flight to Lebanon last week while he was out on bail awaiting trial for alleged financial misconduct.

Prosecutors said in a statement that Carole Ghosn gave false testimony to a Tokyo court last year in her husband's case about the transfer of money from one company to another that allegedly caused losses to Nissan.

She also denied knowing various people, or meeting with them, and the statements were false, they said. The allegations cited were unrelated to Ghosn's escape.

She was banned from meeting her husband after he eas released on bail due to fears it might jeopardise the case.

Lebanon and Japan do not have an extradition treaty. Japanese justice officials acknowledge that it's unclear whether Carlos, and now Carole, who has been seen in photos released by his lawyer with him in Beirut, can be brought back to Japan to face any of the charges.

Prosecutors have said they did not want Carlos Ghosn to be granted bail because they saw him as a potential flight risk.

"With his abundance financial power and multiple foreign bases worldwide, it would be easy for the defendant Ghosn to flee from Japan," they said in a statement. 

Earlier Tuesday, Nissan said it was still pursuing legal action against him despite his escape from Japan to Lebanon.

Read more: 'I did it alone': Carlos Ghosn denies getting help fleeing Japan

The Japanese automaker said in a statement that Ghosn engaged in serious misconduct while leading the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance.

"The company will continue to take appropriate legal action to hold Ghosn accountable for the harm that his misconduct has caused to Nissan," it said without giving details.

Japan's chief government spokesman told reporters Tokyo has told Lebanon that Ghosn left the country illegally and was seeking cooperation in finding out what happened. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the situation had to be handled carefully.

Japan's foreign ministry said that its ambassador to Beirut planned to meet with Lebanese President Michel Aoun later in the day.

Meanwhile, Japanese media revealed new details of Ghosn's escape, saying he left his home alone and met two men at a Tokyo hotel.

He then took a bullet train to Osaka before boarding a private jet hidden inside a musical instrument case. 

Japanese major business daily Nikkei reported, without citing sources, that dozens of people in various countries helped to plan his clandestine departure.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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