Ghosn laments Brazil’s failure to ‘pressure’ Japan: Media

Ghosn speaks at a press conference in Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (AP)

Ex-auto tycoon Carlos Ghosn told Brazilian media he was disappointed by the Latin American country’s failure to “pressure” authorities in Japan, where he was detained before jumping bail and fleeing to Lebanon.

The former Renault-Nissan chief, who was born in Brazil, had been awaiting trial on charges of financial misconduct, which he denies.

Ghosn, 65, told the media in Beirut on Wednesday that he fled Japan last month because he would not get a fair trial. He had been held for 130 days under severe conditions.

In an interview with GloboNews, Ghosn said President Jair Bolsonaro had previously contacted his sister, Claudine Bichara, who lives in Brazil, raising his expectations for official intervention in his case.

“I was hoping that at some point, perhaps some pressure from the Brazilian government for normal, proper treatment would be made,” Ghosn said in the interview broadcast Wednesday evening.

Ghosn, who holds French, Lebanese and Brazilian passports, had hoped Bolsonaro would raise the issue with Japanese officials during his visit to Tokyo in October.

“I believe the ministry of foreign affairs told him the Japanese would be upset, so nothing was done.”

Bolsonaro’s office did not immediately respond to AFP’s request for comment.

Ghosn said he could go to Brazil “without problem” so long as he took a direct flight to “avoid problems with Interpol.”

Lebanon on Thursday banned Ghosn from traveling after questioning him over an Interpol “red notice.”

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.

Lebanon does not have an extradition agreement with Japan.

Ghosn has argued since his shock November 2018 arrest that the case against him was a bid to block his plans to more closely integrate Nissan with its French partner Renault.

Bichara, Ghosn’s sister, told Brazilian daily Folha de Sao Paulo that she was disappointed by Brazil’s inaction in her brother’s case.

“It preferred to abstain and avoid taking risks, unlike Lebanon,” she said.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:05 - GMT 07:05
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