Lebanon gets Interpol arrest warrant for Carlos Ghosn

Ghosn has skipped bail before a trial on financial misconduct charges and fled to Lebanon via Turkey. (File/AFP)
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Updated 02 January 2020

Lebanon gets Interpol arrest warrant for Carlos Ghosn

  • The Interpol wanted notice reached the Lebanese Internal Security Forces and was transferred to Cassation Public Prosecution
  • Separately, lawyers lodge complaint against Ghosn for committing the crime of entering 'an enemy country' and violating the boycott law against Israel

BEIRUT: Lebanon on Thursday received an Interpol arrest warrant for fugitive businessman Carlos Ghosn following his secret escape from Japan.

The former Nissan chief was awaiting trial in Japan on financial misconduct charges but evaded authorities and detection to travel to Lebanon, arriving in Beirut on New Year’s Eve.

His flit shocked Japan, surprising even his defence team who had three of his passports.

The Interpol wanted notice, or what Lebanon refers to as the Red Notice, reached the Lebanese Internal Security Forces and was transferred to Cassation Public Prosecution.

Judicial sources told Arab News that the notice included an international arrest warrant for Ghosn at the request of Japanese authorities.

The sources said: “The Cassation Public Prosecution is in the process of summoning Carlos Ghosn to question him on the crimes for which he is wanted in Japan. The Japanese authorities might request to attend Ghosn’s hearing. Prosecutor General Ghassan Oueidat‎ is currently appointing a public defender to listen to Ghosn and if the Japanese authorities request to attend the hearing, they can do that or send the questions they wish to ask Ghosn. The accusation against Ghosn is tax evasion. In Lebanon, a Lebanese who commits tax evasion in another country does not get tried. He only gets tried if he commits this crime on Lebanese territory. The sentence for committing this crime in Lebanon does not exceed imprisonment for six months, and Carlos Ghosn has spent this period and more (in the place) where he committed his crime.”

He stands accused of two counts of under-reporting his salary by tens of millions of dollars from 2010 to 2018, deferring some of his pay and failing to declare this to shareholders.

Prosecutors also allege he attempted to get Nissan to cover millions of dollars in personal foreign exchange losses during the 2008 financial crisis.

The fourth charge against him is that he allegedly transferred millions from Nissan funds to a dealership in Oman and skimmed off sums for personal use. 

He has consistently denied all charges against him, using his escape to denounce the Japanese justice system and proclaim his innocence.

Meanwhile lawyers Jad Toameh, Hassan Bazzi and Ali Abbas have lodged a complaint with Cassation Public Prosecution against Ghosn for committing the crime of entering “an enemy country” and violating the boycott law against Israel based on information about him signing contracts and attending business conferences in Israel.

Toameh said: “After Israeli collaborator Amer Fakhoury ... entered Lebanon and we lodged a complaint against him, the complaint took its legal course before the examining magistrate. We find ourselves today facing a new similar situation in which Ghosn is involved, and we are awestruck by the silence of the Lebanese political parties affiliated with the resistance in the face of these security breaches.”

But judicial sources told Arab News that Ghosn had entered Israel with a French passport, not as a Lebanese citizen, and that he was the head of the largest carmaker in the world.


Yemeni president in US for annual medical checkup

Updated 13 August 2020

Yemeni president in US for annual medical checkup

AL-MUKALLA: Yemen’s President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi touched down in the US for his annual medical checkup on Thursday, the Yemeni Embassy in the US said.
Ambassador Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak received Hadi at the airport in Cleveland, Ohio, where the appointment is due to take place, and “reaffirmed his utmost best wishes to the president for continued good health,” the embassy said in a brief statement.
Hadi left for the US after appointing a new governor and a new security chief in Aden, and mandating new Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malik Saeed to form a new government. Hadi has travelled regularly to Cleveland for medical treatment since becoming president in early 2012, reportedly suffering from heart problems.
Saeed asked the governor, Ahmed Hamid Lamlis, to focus his efforts on reviving public institutions in Aden, restoring peace and security and fixing basic services that have been hit hard by years of instability. The official Saba news agency reported that the prime minister pledged Lamlis his government’s full support.
Saeed also entered discussions with various political factions in Yemen with a view to forming his government. Abdul Malik Al-Mekhlafi, an adviser to President Hadi, said on Twitter that the administration would be announced within a month, as the internationally recognized government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) enacted security and military components of the Riyadh Agreement.
The STC recently rescinded a controversial declaration of self-rule under a new Saudi-brokered proposal to accelerate the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement.
Signed by both sides in late 2019, the agreement was designed to end hostilities in Aden and other southern provinces. Under the deal, the government and the STC were agreed to withdraw their forces from contested areas in southern Yemen, move heavy weapons and military units from Aden and allow the new government to resume duties.
Meanwhile, a judiciary committee assigned by the country’s attorney general to investigate reports of thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate stored at Aden’s port found hat the material was in fact a different fertilizer, urea, which could also prove hazardous if mixed with other materials.
In a letter addressed to the Yemen Gulf of Aden Ports Corporation, Judge Anes Nasser Ali, a local prosecutor, ordered the port’s authorities to remove the urea from the city.
Shortly after the tragic explosion in the Lebanese capital Beirut last Tuesday, Fatehi Ben Lazerq, editor of the Aden Al-Ghad newspaper, ignited public uproar after suggesting 4,900 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in 130 containers had been gathering dust at the port for the last three years, which could cause an equally destructive explosion. The story prompted the country’s chief prosecutor, politicians and the public to call for an investigation.