French investigators probe palace party related to Ghosn prosecution

Carlos Ghosn in Norway

French prosecutors are probing a party which former Renault-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn threw for his wife at the sumptuous Versailles palace will in the next few weeks ask judges to examine the case, bringing a prosecution a step closer.

Prosecutors have been checking whether Ghosn – currently in Lebanon after he fled from Japan on financial misconduct charges – knowingly used company resources to organize a party that was for private purposes.

An official with the prosecutor’s office located in Nanterre, near Paris, which has been dealing with the investigation, informed Reuters that a judge or judges would be assigned to pursue the case against Ghosn.

The judges have broader powers than prosecutors to pursue a criminal case. They can, in certain circumstances, order the arrest of a suspect pending trial, or issue an international arrest warrant if the suspect is outside the country.

Jean-Yves Le Borgne, one of Ghosn’s legal team, stated Ghosn had done nothing wrong over the party, and there may have been a misunderstanding between Versailles and party planners who worked for Ghosn, according to Reuters.

The lawyer stated Ghosn had offered to pay back the 50,000 euros ($55,470) cost of renting the venue for the event.

“Carlos Ghosn is ready to answer French justice. Regarding his possible travel to France, things are complicated,” said Le Borgne, referring to a travel ban imposed by Lebanese prosecutors, and an international Interpol notice seeking Ghosn’s arrest, as demanded by Japanese officials.

Renault is yet to comment on the issue.

Until now, Ghosn has denied the charges of financial misconduct which he deems as the part of the plan to oust him from the Renault-Nissan alliance.

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