BEIRUT – Lebanese authorities have not accepted a formal cooperation request from Interpol in relation to Carlos Ghosn, filed after the former Nissan Motor Co. chairman jumped bail in Japan and fled to the Middle-Eastern country, a Lebanese prosecution official said Sunday.
The official’s disclosure conflicts with reports in Lebanon that local prosecutors plan to question Ghosn as early as Tuesday based on a wanted notice they have received from the international police organization.
The official said there was a procedural flaw with the notice and given that no formal request for the investigation has arrived the prosecutors will not be able to interrogate Ghosn.
Ghosn, who was facing a trial for alleged financial misconduct, arrived in Lebanon on Dec. 30 via Turkey. He had escaped from what he claimed was a “rigged” Japanese justice system.
The official did not explain what kind of flaw Lebanon found in the Interpol notice. Such requests typically instruct authorities to detain a wanted person.
Lebanon, which has no extradition agreement with Japan, has said Ghosn entered the country legally while in possession of a French passport and a Lebanese identification card.
But Turkish authorities said Ghosn, who holds Brazilian, French and Lebanese nationality, had entered and departed Turkey illegally via a private aircraft with the help of suspected accomplices who have been detained.
The 65-year-old tycoon, who was arrested more than a year ago by Japanese prosecutors, was released on bail in April on conditions that included a ban on foreign travel.
Lebanese prosecutors will not stop Japanese authorities from joining in their investigation of Ghosn, the official said, adding that Japan has not requested such cooperation nor the handover of Ghosn by Beirut.