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Japan seeks, although futilely, to arrest Ghosn in Lebanon

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Via AP Business

TOKYO (AP) — An arrest warrant was issued Thursday for Nissan’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn, who skipped bail while awaiting trial in Japan, and is now in Lebanon.

There is little chance for his arrest as Japan does not have an extradition treaty with Lebanon. Lebanon indicated earlier this month that it will not hand over Ghosn.

Tokyo prosecutors have said Ghosn clearly broke the law by leaving the country, defying bail conditions that required him to stay in Japan, mostly at his Tokyo home.

Ghosn has said he is innocent of the allegations, which center around under-reporting his future income and breach of trust in allegedly diverting Nissan money for his personal gain.

He has said he left Japan because he could not expect a fair trial, and bail conditions prevented him from seeing his wife.

He has said Nissan Motor Co. drove him out to prevent a fuller merger with French alliance partner Renault.

Ghosn, who led Nissan for two decades, has also lashed out at the Japanese criminal justice system.

Prosecutors have said the detention and bail conditions were fair.

Ghosn’s theatrical flight has been an embarrassment for Japanese authorities. Surveillance cameras at his home and on streets showed him leaving the home.

He is believed to have taken the train and left from Kansai Airport, stopping by in Turkey, and reportedly hid in a box for musical equipment. Ghosn has declined to comment on the specifics of his escape.

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Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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