France Won’t Extradite Carlos Ghosn if He Goes There, Official Says


If the fugitive former automotive executive Carlos Ghosn were to go to France, the authorities there would not extradite him to Japan, a government minister said on Thursday, four days after Mr. Ghosn fled Japan to avoid trial on financial misconduct charges.

Mr. Ghosn, the former chief executive of Nissan and Renault, made a stunning getaway on Sunday, though his movements were supposed to be strictly limited while he was free on bail in Japan. He turned up in Lebanon, saying he had escaped the “rigged Japanese justice system.”

The Lebanese justice minister, Albert Serhan, said on Thursday that the public prosecutor had received a “red notice” from Interpol related to Mr. Ghosn’s case, according to the state-run National News Agency. The red notice is not an arrest warrant, and it is up to each individual country to decide how to respond.

In Turkey, the authorities detained seven people suspected of helping Mr. Ghosn escape, according to news outlets there. He reportedly left Japan late Sunday aboard a business jet from Osaka to Istanbul Ataturk Airport, where he quickly switched to another plane and flew to Beirut.

An official at Havas, a ground services company that operates at Istanbul Ataturk Airport, confirmed that two of its employees were in custody for questioning in the case but said that they were expected to be released later in the day. A person who answered the phone at MNG said no one was available to comment.

It was not clear whether anyone in Turkey knowingly aided Mr. Ghosn, or if he used some kind of subterfuge to avoid detection, like traveling under an alias.

The Bombardier Global Express jet that reportedly carried him to Istanbul is owned by a Turkish company, STE Havacilik, which denied any involvement in his escape. An executive of the company said that when it is not using the plane, it rents the jet to MNG, which uses it for chartered flights. Such arrangements are common with business jets.

Japanese prosecutors on Thursday raided Mr. Ghosn’s sprawling, two-story house in an exclusive neighborhood of central Tokyo. After about four hours, around a dozen men — most of them wearing black suits and surgical masks — carried out heavy black briefcases, ignoring questions from journalists who followed them.

While officials in Japan have expressed their outrage over his escape, Mr. Ghosn has said he would speak to the news media “starting next week.”



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