BEIRUT: Part of the case examined by French investigating judges who interviewed former fugitive car leader Carlos Ghosn in Beirut this week should be considered invalid, his defense team said on Friday.
French judges have been holding hearings at the Beirut Courthouse since Monday, in a process Ghosn’s lawyers have called a first for justice since his arrest in Japan in 2018.
“We believe on the basis of a legal opinion rendered by an expert that part of the case must be declared null and void since it is tainted with errors committed voluntarily by the Japanese authorities”, declared one of its lawyers to journalists after the hearings.
Ghosn was voluntarily questioned as a witness during the hearings, which deal with allegations of financial misconduct in France.
The architect of the Renault-Nissan automotive alliance has conducted several investigations since his flight from Japan to Lebanon in late 2019 and said he hoped to clear his name in cases of financial misconduct against him.
Ghosn, who has denied any wrongdoing, was chairman of Nissan and Mitsubishi and chief executive of Renault when he was arrested for underreporting his salary and using company funds for personal gain.
He disagrees with Renault over the retirement and severance pay he claims to be owed, and tax authorities have reviewed his tax arrangements.
French magistrates were also pursuing questions about events hosted by Ghosn at the lavish Palace of Versailles, including whether in one case he knowingly used company resources to throw a party for private purposes.
The French prosecution is also investigating financial flows between Renault, its Dutch subsidiary and a car dealership in Oman.