Lebanon has received an Interpol red notice for the arrest of ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn at France’s request, but it is unlikely to extradite him, a court official said Thursday.
“Prosecutor Ghassan Oueidat has received from Interpol a red notice… against Ghosn based on an international arrest warrant issued by France” last month, the official told AFP.
The prosecutor “will set, within the coming days, and perhaps early next week, a date to summon and question Ghosn,” said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Interpol notices, which are not international arrest warrants, ask authorities worldwide to provisionally detain people pending possible extradition or other legal actions. Interpol issues them at the request of a member country.
The notice against Ghosn is a test for Lebanon, which does not extradite its citizens and has banned Ghosn from leaving its territory.
According to the court official, Oueidat could either respond by issuing an immediate warrant for Ghosn’s arrest or he could hold off until his case is transferred from France to Lebanon.
If the crimes attributed to him by France are deemed “punishable by Lebanese law, he can be tried before Lebanese courts”, the official said, adding however that extradition was unlikely.
“Lebanon will not agree to extradite Ghosn, who is of Lebanese origin, to France because the law prevents it,” the official said.
France sought the arrest of Ghosn last month over suspect payments of some 15 million euros ($16.3 million) between the Renault-Nissan automaker alliance that Ghosn once headed and its dealer in Oman.
The allegations against Ghosn, 68, include misuse of company assets, money laundering and corruption.
Ghosn — who holds French, Lebanese and Brazilian passports — was initially due to stand trial in Japan, following his detention there in 2018, but he jumped bail and fled to Lebanon.