The former CEO of Renault Nissan was heard as a simple witness by French investigators from Beirut on Wednesday as part of an investigation into the scandal of diesel and gasoline engines, the mapping of which had been modified to minimize fuel emissions during of controls.
This questioning already follows a report published in 2017 which estimated that the entire management chain, including the highest authorities of the firm were aware of this.
As a reminder, in addition to the Japanese side of the investigation, the French justice would also investigate abuse of corporate assets, especially during her wedding which took place at the Palace of Versailles in 2016 or an investigation for fraud due to of suspicious financial transactions with the brand’s agent present in the Gulf and on contracts with the Dutch subsidiary of Renault-Nissan RNBV.
This interview was previously scheduled for last January but had to be postponed due to the measures taken in the context of the fight against the covid19 epidemic.
As a reminder, Carlos Ghosn had managed to flee Japan, on December 20, 2019, via Turkey and to Lebanon, in a scenario worthy of a film.
He had served nearly 130 days in prison since November 2018 in Japanese jails before being released on condition of residing in a place under surveillance.
Some sources indicate that the businessman could have been hiding inside a trunk of a musical instrument.
Carlos Ghosn is accused of having embezzled large sums of Nissan, something he denies on his side. He had motivated his escape to esteeming Japanese justice as seeking a scapegoat in settling scores and the impossibility of defending himself. Also, the prohibition which was made to him to see his wife would have been the trigger.
His arrival in Lebanon, however, divides the Lebanese, some seeing it as one of the figures of the corruption which ravages the Land of the Cedars facing a major economic crisis, others welcoming his arrival and denouncing a witch hunt for which he would have paid the price in Japan according to them.
According to Carlos Ghosn, the case against him was mounted by a handful of individuals from the Nissan group with the Japanese prosecutor. “I have not fled justice, I have fled injustice” , specifies the man believing that he had no other choice but to flee to protect himself in the face of an unfair trial.
For its part, Lebanon was reportedly informed by Interpol of the filing of an international arrest warrant against it. However, there is little chance that the Lebanese authorities can hand over the businessman to the Japanese authorities who accuse him of embezzlement, Beirut not allowing the extradition of its nationals.
Despite his departure from Japan, he still faces up to 15 years in prison and a fine of 1.25 million euros in Japan.