Lebanon court orders ex-car boss Ghosn out of Beirut home

Lebanon court orders ex-car boss Ghosn out of Beirut home
Lebanon court orders ex-car boss Ghosn out of Beirut home

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - File photo of former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn attending a news conference at the Lebanese Press Syndicate in Beirut, Lebanon January 8, 2020. - Reuters pic

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Oct 28 — A Lebanese judge has decided to evict former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn from his luxury home, a judicial official said today, four years after an investment firm accused him of “trespassing”.

Ghosn, who took up residency in the Beirut property after fleeing prosecution Japan in 2019, appealed the ruling yesterday, the official added, requesting anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Ghosn and his wife must “vacate the property... within a month”, according to a copy of the decision seen by AFP and dated October 16.

The home with pink walls in the Lebanese capital’s upscale Ashrafieh neighbourhood is worth some US$19 million (RM91 million) and is registered to Lebanese company Phoinos Investment, the judicial official said.

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Phoinos initiated the legal action in 2019 and has accused Ghosn of “trespassing on private property and living in the home without legal basis”, the official added.

According to the court document, Ghosn said the company was affiliated with Nissan and that “the property was purchased... for his residence, and there is a signed agreement with Nissan that grants him the right to reside” there.

Ghosn occupied the home “according to a contractual relationship linking... Ghosn and Nissan”, the decision said.

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However, the end of that relationship and the plaintiff’s wish to retake the property invalidates “the legal basis” of his occupancy, it added.

Ghosn, the former chairman and chief executive of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, was arrested in Japan in November 2018 on suspicion of financial misconduct, before being sacked by Nissan’s board in a unanimous decision.

He jumped bail late the following year and made a dramatic escape from Japan hidden in an audio-equipment box, landing in Beirut, where he remains an international fugitive.

Ghosn has always denied the charges against him, arguing they were cooked up by Nissan executives who opposed his attempts to more closely integrate the firm with French partner Renault.

Japan and France have sought his arrest, but Lebanon does not extradite its citizens, and judicial authorities have slapped a travel ban on Ghosn, who holds Lebanese, French and Brazilian nationality. — AFP

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