Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn has filed a lawsuit in Lebanon against the Japanese automaker, demanding more than $1 billion in compensation following his ouster, a judicial official said Tuesday.
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 next 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 filed a suit with Lebanon’s top prosecutor “against Nissan in Japan and employees of the firm”, the judicial official told AFP, requesting anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media.
The suit, filed in May, claims Nissan “fabricated the charges against him in Japan, leading to his arrest and prosecution there, and requests $1 billion in financial compensation”, the official added.
Nissan told AFP it had learned of the suit through media reports and was trying to verify the information internally.
The judge has scheduled a court session for mid-September that the defendants or their lawyers, whether Japanese or Lebanese, should attend, the judicial official said.
In early 2020, Lebanon received an Interpol red notice advising it that Ghosn was a fugitive from Japan and wanted for trial.
In April 2022, France sought his arrest over suspect payments between the Renault-Nissan automaker alliance and its dealer in Oman.
Lebanon does not extradite its citizens, and judicial authorities have banned Ghosn — who holds Lebanese, French and Brazilian nationality — from travel.
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.
He says he fled Japan because he did not believe he would receive a fair trial.