A delegation of French judges and investigators will visit Beirut on May 17, to hear Carlos Ghosn, the former CEO of Renault-Nissan, for the first time, in the two probes which target him and which are being investigated in France, AFP learned on Friday from corroborating sources.
“The French consulate has informed the Public Prosecution that the French delegation will arrive on May 17th,” a Lebanese judicial source confirmed to Agence France Press.
He added: “It is expected that the hearings will take place in the week in which the delegation arrives in Lebanon, although the Lebanese judiciary has not yet set a date for that.”
The news agency said Ghosn’s hearing was originally scheduled for January 18-22, but has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Restrictions linked to the pandemic may again force magistrates and investigators to postpone their trip.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Ghosn must be questioned at the Beirut courthouse by the investigating judges in charge of the investigations concerning him in Nanterre (near the Parisian suburbs) and Paris, in the presence of magistrates from the public prosecutor’s office of Nanterre and the Paris National Financial Prosecutor’s Office, but also investigators from the Central Office for the Fight against Corruption and Financial and Tax Offenses.
Ghosn has been in Lebanon since the end of December 2019, after fleeing Japan to escape prosecutions for financial irregularities.
In addition to the files concerning him in Japan, Ghosn is targeted by several cases in France.
In Nanterre, the judiciary suspects him in particular of having drawn personal benefit from a sponsorship agreement signed between Renault and the establishment which manages the Palace of Versailles, by organizing two private parties there.
In Paris, investigating judges have been looking since 2019 on consulting services concluded by RNBV, with the former French Minister of Justice Rachida Dati and the French criminologist Alain Bauer, when Ghosn was still CEO of the automotive group.