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How Carlos Ghosn arrival drama unfolded at midnight in Lebanon

Carlos Ghosn addresses a press conference in Paris on September 15, 2017. (AFP)
Carlos Ghosn addresses a press conference in Paris on September 15, 2017. (AFP)
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31 Dec 2019 02:12:10 GMT9
31 Dec 2019 02:12:10 GMT9

Bassam Za’za’ 

Special to Arab News Japan Beirut 

The former CEO of Nissan and Renault, French-businessman Carlos Ghosn, arrived in Lebanon on a private jet that is believed to have flown in from Turkey, sources told Arab News. 

News about Ghosn, who faces house arrest in Japan amid ongoing legal action over alleged corruption during his tenure, broke on Monday at 11 pm [Beirut time]. 

An aide of Ghosn told Lebanese media that Ghosn was no longer under house arrest in Japan and has arrived in his native country. 

The overthrown boss of the Renault-Nissan had been awaiting trial in Japan in April amid house arrest following several months in detention.

No official confirmation could be obtained from the Lebanese Internal Security Forces on Ghosn’s arrival at Beirut International Airport at midnight.

Requesting anonymity, an airport source told Arab News Japan that Ghosn arrived on a private jet that is believed to have flown in from Turkey. “He did arrive, but I cannot say when,” the source said without divulging further details. 

Meanwhile, Japanese ambassador to Lebanon Tokumitsu Murakami told local news portal MTV that he had no feedback as to whether Ghosn had left Japan.

On Monday evening [11 pm Beirut time], the Japanese ambassador was cited as saying that he was surprised to have heard the news of Ghosn’s arrival in Beirut.

Ghosn’s aide did not specify as to how the latter, who holds dual citizenship, left Japan where he was being held under a court-imposed house arrest or whether he had reached a legal deal or provisional bail permitting him to travel on condition that he appears in his upcoming trial.

Ghosn, once celebrated for his turnaround of the ailing car companies, has suffered one of the decade’s most dramatic corporate falls from grace. He was arrested in Japan in November 2018 under four charges of financial misconduct, which he denies.

After the news of his arrival in Beirut, social media users tweeted that Ghosn could be named a minister in the new cabinet that is currently being formed by Dr Hassan Diab following the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Hariri resigned amid ongoing protests over political corruption and deteriorating economic situation. 

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