Japanese vice justice minister sent to Lebanon on Ghosn case

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A Japanese vice minister for justice is heading to Lebanon for talks on the case of former Nissan Motor Co. executive Carlos Ghosn, who fled for his home country late last year while out on bail awaiting trial.

Justice Minister Masako Mori said Friday that she was dispatching the official to Beirut to explain the Japanese criminal justice system and improve cooperation.

Read also: Ghosn vows to clear name at first appearance since fleeing Japan

“Regarding Lebanon, where Ghosn escaped to, we believe that it is important that a proper understanding of the Japanese criminal justice system is understood and to prevent international crime by strengthening cooperation in the legal and judicial fields,” Mori said.

Read also: Ex-Nissan boss Ghosn fled Japan with help from former US Green Beret, others

Japan and Lebanon do not have an extradition treaty and it is thought unlikely that Lebanon would agree to send Ghosn back to Japan to face trial.

Mori acknowledged that there were “various environments” and laws that underpin different positions on the issue in each country.

Ghosn was arrested in late 2018 and is facing charges of under-reporting income and breach of trust. He says he is innocent.

He led Nissan for nearly 20 years.

Having spent months in detention and struggled to gain his release on bail under stringent conditions, Ghosn said he fled in the belief he could not get a fair trial in Japan.

Deputy justice minister, Hiroyuki Yoshiie, was to leave Japan for Lebanon on Saturday. He is expected to meet with the Lebanese justice minister on Monday.

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