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Fugitive Ex-Nissan Chief Allegedly Met Lebanese President in Beirut

Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn, who fled house arrest in Japan, secretly met Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Monday after arriving in Beirut via Istanbul, according to sources close to the ex-Nissan chief. Ghosn was arrested in Tokyo in November 2018 and faces four charges, including hiding income and enriching himself through payments to car dealerships in the Middle East. He was fired from Nissan after internal investigations revealed evidence of wrongdoings. In the meeting with Lebanon’s head of state, Ghosn allegedly thanked Aoun for his support. An adviser to Aoun has denied that the meeting took place. Ghosn, who has been silent about the alleged meeting, said in a written statement that he had “escaped injustice and political persecution” when he fled Japan. According to Lebanese officials, the former Nissan head entered the country legally on a French passport. But this and two others he holds, from Lebanon and Brazil, are said to be with lawyers in Japan. Lebanon has no extradition agreement with Japan. Ghosn, who was born in Brazil and lived in Lebanon as a child, is a popular symbol of business and financial success in Lebanon. A lawyer representing Ghosn said he would hold a news conference in Beirut on Jan. 8.