Ghosn affair: the ex-boss of Renault absent from a new summons in France
Carlos Ghosn, ex-boss of Renault, did not go to the recent summons of a Parisian investigating judge, in charge of an investigation into contracts signed by a subsidiary of Renault Nissan, AFP learned on Wednesday. from sources familiar with the matter.
This absence of Carlos Ghosn, who justified it by his ban on leaving Lebanon, paves the way for the issuance of a second arrest warrant by the French courts, after the issuance of a first warrant, on 21 last April, by a Nantes judge.
In France, Mr. Ghosn is targeted by two instructions, in Paris and Nanterre, two investigations in which Renault is a civil party.
In Paris, an investigating judge summoned Mr. Ghosn on May 19 for a first appearance interrogation, according to two sources familiar with the matter, about the consulting services concluded by RNBV, a Dutch subsidiary embodying the Renault alliance. -Nissan, with former French Minister of Justice Rachida Dati and criminologist Alain Bauer.
Summons which he did not attend. “Our client is subject to a judicial ban on leaving Lebanese territory, this situation is well known to French judges”, reacted to AFP one of his lawyers, Me Jean Tamalet.
Contacted, neither Renault nor its lawyers wished to comment.
At the end of 2019, Mr. Ghosn, who has French, Brazilian and Lebanese nationalities, fled Japan where he was to be tried for aggravated financial embezzlement, to find refuge in Lebanon, a country which does not extradite its nationals. In Beirut, he saw his passport withdrawn with the prohibition to leave Lebanon, because of the investigation and the Japanese mandate targeting him.
In Paris, justice seeks in particular to know if the income of Mrs. Dati correspond to specific activities or if it was a job of convenience having been able to mask a lobbying in the European Parliament, prohibited for the MEPs.
Ms. Dati was indicted on July 21 for “corruption and passive influence peddling by a person vested with a public elective mandate” in the European Parliament, where she was elected at the time, and “concealment of breach of trust “.
Ms. Dati disputes these lawsuits, which also suggest that a third party had an active corrupting role. In the interrogations of Ms. Dati and during the free hearing of Carlos Ghosn in the spring of 2021 in Lebanon, the examining magistrate seems to designate the former car tycoon.
In the investigation targeting him in Nanterre, an investigating judge issued an arrest warrant against Carlos Ghosn on April 21, for “misuse of corporate assets”, “breach of trust”, “laundering in an organized gang”, and “passive corruption” from 2012 to 2017. Four officials of the Omani distributor Suhail Bahwan Automobiles (SBA) are also the subject of warrants.
This mandate, a strong message sent by French justice to the Lebanese authorities, is the culmination of difficult judicial cooperation between the two countries, after several attempts to record the charges against Carlos Ghosn. The magistrates of Nanterre thus summoned the latter, in vain, and traveled twice to Beirut.
After receiving a red notice from Interpol, Lebanese justice asked French justice at the end of May that the evidence alleged against Mr. Ghosn be transmitted to him, according to a Lebanese judicial source.