Le­banon sum­mons Ja­panese am­bas­sador over Car­los Ghosn case

The National - News - - NEWS - THE NA­TIONAL

Le­banese For­eign Min­is­ter Ge­bran Bas­sil sum­moned Ja­pan’s am­bas­sador to Beirut to de­mand an­swers about the re­cent ar­rest of Le­banese mo­tor in­dus­try ty­coon Car­los Ghosn.

There are many “ques­tion marks” sur­round­ing the cir­cum­stances of Mr Ghosn’s ar­rest, Le­banon’s For­eign Min­istry said on Tues­day, hours be­fore the for­mer chair­man of Nis­san de­nied some of the charges against him.

The de­nial was his first for­mal com­ment since Nis­san claimed he mis­used com­pany money for per­sonal mat­ters and un­der­stated his in­come.

The sum­mon­ing of Matahiro Ya­m­aguchi came a day af­ter Le­banon’s am­bas­sador to Ja­pan, Ni­dal Yahya, met Mr Ghosn, Le­banese MP Alain Aoun told The Na­tional.

Beirut is in con­tact with the Ja­panese au­thor­i­ties about the case, Mr Aoun said.

Mr Bas­sil was keen to fol­low up on the high-pro­file case, which is of great in­ter­est to the Le­banese state and pub­lic, con­sid­er­ing Mr Ghosn’s global suc­cess, the for­eign min­istry said.

The Ja­panese au­thor­i­ties ar­rested the ty­coon last Mon­day and he is be­ing held in a prison in Tokyo, await­ing trial.

Mr Ghosn has since been dis­missed as chair­man of Mit­subishi and Nis­san, leav­ing French car maker Re­nault as the only mem­ber of the al­liance that has yet to take mea­sures against him.

Mr Bas­sil said that Le­banon was co-or­di­nat­ing with France and other states to en­sure that the case was han­dled trans­par­ently and in line with le­gal pro­to­cols.

Tues­day’s sum­mons came days af­ter the Ja­panese am­bas­sador met Mr Aoun, who chairs a com­mit­tee in par­lia­ment deal­ing with Ja­panese-Le­banese re­la­tions.

“Le­banon re­spects the in­de­pen­dence and sovereignty of Ja­pan’s ju­di­ciary, and does not al­low it­self to in­ter­fere in the course of Ja­pan’s jus­tice,” Mr Aoun told Mr Ya­m­aguchi.

“Yet it also be­lieves that Car­los Ghosn should un­dergo a fair and trans­par­ent trial with full re­spect for his right to de­fend him­self, away from the prej­u­dices that have been de­lib­er­ated through the me­dia.”

The am­bas­sador said Ja­pan was keen to main­tain its strong re­la­tions with Le­banon.

“This is­sue is go­ing through a ju­di­cial process that is com­pletely in­de­pen­dent from pol­i­tics,” Mr Ya­m­aguchi said. “Car­los Ghosn will get a fair trial like other Ja­panese cit­i­zens and will en­joy the full means to de­fend his case.”

AP

Mo­tor in­dus­try ty­coon Car­los Ghosn is await­ing trial in Ja­pan on cor­rup­tion charges. He has de­nied some of the al­le­ga­tions

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