January 10, 2020 / 4:29 PM / 10 days ago

Lebanon may lift Ghosn's travel ban if files not received within 40 days: caretaker justice minister

FILE PHOTO: Former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn accompanied by his wife Carole Ghosn, arrives at his place of residence in Tokyo, Japan, March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon may lift a travel ban on ousted Nissan (7201.T) boss Carlos Ghosn if files pertaining to his case do not arrive from Japan within 40 days, caretaker justice minister Albert Serhan said in a statement on Friday.

Ghosn fled Japan to Lebanon, his childhood home, last month as he awaited trial on charges of under-reporting earnings, breach of trust and misappropriation of company funds, all of which he denies.

His dramatic escape has raised tensions between Japan and Lebanon, where Ghosn slammed the Japanese justice system at a two-hour news conference on Wednesday, prompting Japan’s Justice Minister to launch a rare and forceful public response.

Lebanon has no extradition agreement with Japan.

Serhan said in the statement that he had met with the Japanese ambassador to Lebanon and reaffirmed the importance of the relationship between the two countries.

He also said that Ghosn’s wife Carole will also be questioned by Lebanese prosecutors when authorities receive an Interpol notice for her.

“Carole will be subject to the same procedures that were followed for (Carlos) when the red notice was received from Interpol.”

Tokyo prosecutors on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for Carole for alleged perjury related to the misappropriation charge against her husband.

A spokeswoman for Carole said that she had voluntarily returned to Japan nine months ago to answer prosecutors’ questions and was free to go without any charges, adding that the warrant was “pathetic”.

Reporting by Hoda Monem; Writing by Nadine Awadalla and Dala Osseiran; Editing by Susan Fenton

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