Arrest warrant issued in Japan for Carlos Ghosn’s wife

TOKYO: Prosecutors in Japan on Tuesday obtained an arrest warrant for Carole Ghosn, wife of former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn, who last month jumped bail and fled the country. The warrant was issued as the fallout from the escape of one of Japan’s most high-profile criminal suspects continues, with authorities pledging tighter border controls and seizing the bail money that Ghosn forfeited by fleeing the country.

He had been facing trial in Japan on charges of financial misconduct, which he denies, before fleeing the country in late December for Lebanon, where he was reunited with his wife. In a statement, prosecutors said they had obtained the warrant on suspicion that Carole Ghosn “made false statements” during April testimony to the Tokyo district court about meetings with an unnamed individual. Carlos Ghosn had been freed on bail after agreeing to strict conditions, with prosecutors arguing he posed a flight risk. The conditions included restrictions on contact with Carole, which was reportedly among the reasons he decided to jump bail and flee the country in an elaborately planned escape that has outraged Japanese officials.

A spokesperson for the Ghosn family called the warrant “pathetic” and implied it was a response to a press conference the tycoon is due to give in Beirut on Wednesday. Ghosn’s second wife, Carole vocally led the campaign for her husband’s freedom, insisting on his innocence and slamming Japanese prosecutors for what she deemed ill-treatment after his shock November 19, 2018 arrest. She was initially prevented from seeing her husband, who was held in detention for more than 100 days after his arrest, and petitioned everyone from French President Emmanuel Macron to the White House in seeking his release.

Ghosn, a globe-trotting auto mogul who was once a giant of the industry, accuses executives at Japanese automaker Nissan of manufacturing the allegations against him in a “plot” to prevent closer integration with alliance partner Renault. The warrant for Carole’s arrest comes as Japanese authorities piece together how Ghosn was able to evade surveillance and airport security. Snippets have emerged suggesting he was aided by a security expert, and took advantage of loopholes in security at Japan’s Kansai airport. — AFP