Japan minister going to Lebanon to make case for Ghosn’s return

Carlos Ghosn pictures

 Japan’s deputy justice minister is flying to Lebanon this weekend in an attempt to make the case that fugitive former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn should stand trial in Japan.

Hiroyuki Yoshiie will depart from Tokyo on Saturday and meet with Lebanese Justice Minister Marie Claude Najm on Monday, Japan’s justice ministry stated.

The former leader of the Renault REN.PA-Nissan automaking alliance made a surprising year-end escape from Japan, where he deals with trial for financial crimes including misuse of Nissan funds for personal benefit. Ghosn denies the charges.

Ghosn stated he fled to his childhood home of Lebanon to clear his name. Lebanon has no extradition treaty with Japan.

Ghosn, who also holds Lebanese and French citizenship, got back to Twitter late on Thursday for the first time after more than one month, soliciting signatures for a petition for the release of fellow former-Nissan executive Greg Kelly, who was arrested during the same period.

“It is Nissan’s hope that Ghosn will return to Japan so that all the facts can be appropriately established under Japan’s judicial system,” the company stated on Friday.

The automaker filed a civil lawsuit against Ghosn previously this month seeking 10 billion yen ($92 million) in damages.

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