Lebanese prosecutor imposes a travel ban on former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn, judicial sources say, after he was summoned over an Interpol warrant issued by Japan seeking his arrest on financial misconduct charges.

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn attends a news conference at the Lebanese Press Syndicate in Beirut, Lebanon. January 8, 2020.
Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn attends a news conference at the Lebanese Press Syndicate in Beirut, Lebanon. January 8, 2020. (Mohamed Azakir / Reuters)

Lebanon banned former auto tycoon Carlos Ghosn from travelling on Thursday after questioning him over an Interpol "red notice" of charges of financial misconduct in Japan, judicial sources said.

"The state prosecution issued a travel ban for Ghosn, and asked for his file from the Japanese authorities," a judicial source said.

"He has been banned from travelling until his judicial file arrives from Japan," a second judicial source said.

Lebanon's judiciary received a "red notice" from Interpol last week urging Ghosn's arrest.

A "red notice" is a request to police across the world to provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender or similar legal action. It is not an arrest warrant.

Japan outraged

The 65-year-old businessman –– for years venerated in Japan for turning around once-ailing Nissan –– fled while awaiting trial on charges including allegedly under-reporting his compensation to the tune of $85 million.

His shock arrival in his native Lebanon last month was the latest twist in a story worthy of a Hollywood plot and prompted outrage from the Japanese government as well as from Nissan.

Lebanon does not have an extradition agreement with Japan.

Ghosn had also been expected to make a statement on a report submitted by Lebanese lawyers that he had travelled to neighbouring Israel as head of Renault-Nissan.

Lebanon and neighbouring Israel are still technically at war.

Ghosn apologises for Israel visit 

In early 2008, Ghosn travelled to Israel to announce the mass production of electric vehicles there with the cooperation of Renault-Nissan.

At a press conference in Beirut on Wednesday, Ghosn apologised to the Lebanese people for having visited the neighbouring country.

"I went as the head of Renault," he said.

"I went as a Frenchman because of a contract between Renault and an Israeli company," said Ghosn, who holds French, Lebanese and Brazilian nationalities.

Carlos Abou Jaoude, a Beirut-based lawyer for Ghosn, told Lebanese broadcaster MTV he was "very comfortable" with the proceedings in Beirut but more importantly, Ghosn himself was comfortable, "especially after what he went through".

"He is very comfortable with the path."

One of the sources said Ghosn would surrender his French passport to the Lebanese authorities later on Thursday.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies