Bassil Asks Lebanese Ambassador to Assist Carlos Ghosn

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Caretaker Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil has instructed Lebanese Ambassador to Japan Nidal Yahia to “follow up on the case of Mr. Carlos Ghosn, the chairman of the “Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance,” after he was arrested for alleged financial misconduct, the National News Agency said.

NNA added that Bassil has asked the envoy to “meet him, inquire about his needs, verify the legality of the measures that have been taken, and ensure that he will be provided with legal assistance so that he can present the facts and evidence in his possession and have a real chance to defend himself.”

“Ghosn is an expat Lebanese citizen and represents one of the Lebanese successes abroad, and the Lebanese Foreign Ministry will stand by him in his crisis to ensure that he will get a fair trial,” the Ministry said in a statement.

Ghosn, 64, was born in Brazil of Lebanese descent, and educated at elite colleges in France, where he started in industry at tiremaker Michelin.

He has maintained his ties with Lebanon, where he has invested in a winery.

Ghosn made his name as a turnaround specialist before he was parachuted into Nissan from Renault in 1999, swinging the ax on costs to bring the troubled Japanese firm rapidly back to profit.

A globetrotting polyglot who shook up corporate culture in France and Japan, Ghosn could seemingly do no wrong until disquiet began to mount in recent years over his high renumeration.

Japanese prosecutors confirmed Tuesday that they were holding Ghosn after arresting him a day earlier on suspicion of systematically under-reporting his salary over five years.

Nissan said it had been investigating Ghosn and Representative Director Greg Kelly for months, after a report from a whistleblower.

CEO Hiroto Saikawa said the company had uncovered years of financial misconduct including under-reporting of income and inappropriate personal use of company assets.

There has been no word from Ghosn or his representatives on the charges and no official confirmation on where he is being held. Sources told AFP he was being held at a detention centre in the capital belonging to Tokyo prosecutors.

Under Japanese law, Ghosn can be held for up to 23 days before being charged.

Prosecutors confirmed Ghosn had conspired with Kelly to report income of 4.9 billion yen ($44.5 million) over five years when his actual income for that period had been nearly 10 billion yen.

Several executives at Nissan were reportedly involved in falsifying financial documents under instructions from Kelly but they have been cooperating with prosecutors in a plea bargain deal in return for lighter penalties.

Public broadcaster NHK reported board members received less compensation than financial statements showed, with Ghosn pocketing the difference.

Nissan also reportedly provided luxury residences to Ghosn in Brazil and Lebanon by making subsidiaries purchase the properties for billions of yen (tens of millions of dollars).

- Governments weigh in -

Japanese government officials scrambled to insist that the alliance of Nissan, Mitsubishi and Renault that Ghosn oversaw would not be affected by his astonishing downfall.

And France, which holds a 15 percent stake in Renault, said it would stay "vigilant" on the stability of the alliance as well as the French automaker.

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said he had ordered an inquiry into Ghosn's tax affairs immediately after learning of his arrest in Japan but that it showed up "nothing in particular about his tax situation."

Comments 9
Thumb justice 20 November 2018, 14:05

What about Nizar Zakka ya irani?

Thumb janoubi 20 November 2018, 14:50

Ghosn is Brazilian and French national too. Nizar has only one nationality (Lebanese) and Bassil has not lifted a finger to help him.

Thumb whyaskwhy 21 November 2018, 16:06

Justice, its that Carlos has money and fame and seems corruptible. these are traits that would attract this weasel minister. Nizar is held in that epitome of legality and justice Iran which runs Lebanon and hence the weasel imbecile will not dare make that request from his masters not to mention it would mean he would have to pay the Iranians money for his release....

Thumb canadianleb 20 November 2018, 14:43

This is too funny. Ghosn is a French Citizen and the only reason Bassil is doing this is to ensure he gets a cut of the spoils.

Thumb barrymore 20 November 2018, 15:10

Bassil and Ghosn are partners in a winery in Lebanon.

Thumb roflmfao 20 November 2018, 19:15

Dude's referring to.. IXSIR winery.. established in 2008.. in Basbina Batroun.. he said with straight face..

Thumb roflmfao 20 November 2018, 19:03

Dude this is slander.. pure and simple.. and it's uncalled for.. true he's from a broke lower middle class family from Batroun.. and true that in 2005 he was unemployed with an unused degree in engineering.. and a 13 year old car.. living with his in-laws.. in a donated house.. true he became a multi millionaire immediately after 2008 when he became minister.. but that was from an interference.. seriously.. sure.. no doubt about it.. he inherited various properties in Batroum.. from a long lost rich something or other.. that he quickly sold for over 30 million dollars.. yup.. 30 million dollars.. dude in a business genius.. sure the whole of Batroun isn't worth 30 million dollars.. but who care.. don't let a little thing like that get in the way of a feel good yarn.. the little guy who could.. and our Gebran's one of the best in spinning a yarn.. he's also a comic book hero.. don't forget that.. although he cannot fly, lift heavy objects or have X-ray vision........ yet..

Thumb s.o.s 21 November 2018, 15:07

Our 100% Lebanese compatriot without other citizenships, Mr Nizar Zakka, is waiting for the same attention and devotion from Bassil and Riachi.

Thumb canadianleb 21 November 2018, 18:42

Mr Zakka does not have the funds Ghosn has... it's all about the might $$$$