Japan issues arrest warrant for Nissan ex-chair’s wife

TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo prosecutors obtained an arrest warrant yesterday for the wife of Nissan’s former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, on suspicion of perjury, adding to the couple’s legal troubles in the country where he once was revered as a star executive.

The move against Carole Ghosn, who is not in Japan, followed her husband’s flight to Lebanon last week while he was out on bail awaiting trial for alleged financial misconduct.

Prosecutors said in a statement that Carole Ghosn gave false testimony to a Tokyo court last year in her husband’s case about the transfer of money from one company to another that allegedly caused losses to Nissan.

She also denied knowing various people, or meeting with them, and the statements were false, they said. The allegations cited were unrelated to Ghosn’s escape.

Carole Ghosn was not immediately available for comment but earlier she told The Associated Press after her questioning in court that she considered the questions trite and unsubstantial.

She was banned from meeting with her husband after his release on bail because of fears she might help tamper with evidence.

Lebanon and Japan do not have an extradition treaty. Japanese Justice officials acknowledge that it’s unclear whether Carlos, and now Carole, who has been seen in photos released by his lawyer with him in Beirut, can be brought back to Japan to face any of the charges. They said they were still looking into what could be done.

Prosecutors have said they did not want Carlos Ghosn to be granted bail because they saw him as a flight risk.

“With his abundance financial power and multiple foreign bases worldwide, it would be easy for the defendant Ghosn to flee from Japan,” they said in a statement.

Private security guards stand outside of the house of ex-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn in Beirut, Lebanon. PHOTO: AP