Carlos Ghosn: Interpol Issues Arrest Warrant for Former Nissan CEO

The move follows the executive's daring New Year's Eve escape from Japan, where he was been facing charges of financial misconduct. He has denied the charges.

Interpol issued an arrest warrant for former Nissan  (NSANY)  CEO Carlos Ghosn, and Lebanon's internal-security forces have received the warrant, according to a media report..

Reuters reported, citing a Lebanese judicial source, that the country's authorities haven't yet referred the warrant to the judiciary there.

Ghosn left Japan, where he had been under house arrest, and was flown in a private jet to Lebanon via Turkey, media reports said.

Turkey also has begun an investigation into the executive's daring New Year's Eve escape from Japan, Reuters reported.

Ghosn had been arrested in Tokyo in November 2018 and was charged with financial misconduct. The charges included abusing his position at Nissan for personal gain, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Ghosn has said he is innocent of the charges, calling them a plot by Nissan executives who opposed his efforts to partner Nissan with Renault.

How he escaped Japan is the subject of widespread speculation. The French daily Le Monde reported that his wife, Carole, arranged the escape with help from her brothers and their contacts. Ghosn said in a Thursday statement that he alone arranged his departure.

The executive, who is 65, was born in Brazil and is of Lebanese ancestry. He holds citizenships in Brazil, Lebanon and France. He has a number of investments in Lebanon, Reuters reported.

Ghosn said in a statement that he would "no longer be held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system where guilt is presumed, discrimination is rampant and basic human rights are denied, in flagrant disregard of Japan's legal obligations under international law and treaties it is bound to uphold."

A senior Lebanese security official told the news service that whether Ghosn would be summoned for questioning over the warrant was unclear. But the official said Lebanon doesn't extradite its citizens to foreign states.

The Associated Press reported that in Japan's court system, the conviction rate exceeds 99% and the country relies on extended detention to elicit false confessions.

The Washington Post noted that Ghosn was arrested and rearrested a number of times, with an initial 23-day detention extended to 108 days. Reports say that Japan extended the date of one of his two planned trials to April 2021 from September 2020.

A U.S. citizen and former Nissan executive, Greg Kelly, was arrested when Ghosn was. Kelly remains in Japan and faces trial there. He has denied wrongdoing.