BEIRUT – Lebanon’s interim Justice Minister Albert Serhan on Friday did not rule out the possibility of the country handing over former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn to Japan.
If a Lebanese court rules Ghosn guilty and its prosecutors find special circumstances, it could be possible to send him back to Japan, Serhan said in Beirut.
But Serhan stopped short of referring to any exceptional circumstances that may lead to the handover of the former triple automobile executive, who jumped bail while awaiting trial for alleged financial misconduct.
Japan and Lebanon have no extradition treaty. Serhan said that Lebanon does not hand citizens over to foreign authorities in principle, suggesting that it is highly unlikely that Ghosn will be sent back to Japan.
Lebanese authorities on Thursday banned Ghosn from leaving the country while asking Japan to provide all investigation materials on him to the Lebanese side.
Serhan said that the departure ban will be lifted unless such materials reach Lebanese authorities within 40 days.
Lebanon has yet to receive any investigation materials or a request to hand over Ghosn, he said, stressing that Lebanon will not question Ghosn or launch an investigation into him before the arrival of the materials.
Also on Friday, Serhan met with Japanese Ambassador to Lebanon Takeshi Okubo. The envoy told Serhan that Japan will make efforts to provide its investigation materials promptly to Lebanese authorities.
Okubo showed understanding of Lebanese authorities’ investigation policy on Ghosn and asked Beirut to go ahead with the related judicial processes, according to Serhan.