Ex-Nissan chief fails to appear in court over ‘technical obstacle’

FILE PHOTO: Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn gestures during a news conference at the Lebanese Press Syndicate in Beirut, Lebanon January 8, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo

Ousted Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn said that he failed to appear before a court in France on July 13 due to a “technical obstacle”, Lebanese media reported on Monday.

Ghosn said that his passport is held by the Attorney General in Lebanon since Japan issued an international arrest warrant on his behalf.

“My lawyers have discussed the terms of my appearance before the court in France for several weeks,” Ghosn was quoted as saying by Elnashra, an online independent newspaper in Lebanon.

“There is a technical obstacle and I want to secure my safety and freedom of movement.”

Ghosn noted that he needs to cross other countries to reach France.

“No one can assure me that the journey will go smoothly without any incidents. The judge can, for example, interrogate me in Beirut, and I am ready to answer all his questions,” he said.

Ghosn arrived in Lebanon’s capital Beirut at the end of last year after fleeing from Japan on charges of financial misconduct.

Nissan accused Ghosn of understating his salary while he was the chief executive, and transferring $5 million of company funds to an account in which he had an interest.

Ghosn said in a statement that he had not fled justice, but had escaped “injustice and political persecution”.

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