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Lebanon is obliged to hand him over… What was included in the INTERPOL “red notice”? 22nd May 2022

Lebanon received a “red notice” from Interpol against the former auto magnate, Carlos Ghosn, based on the international arrest warrant issued by the French authorities against him about a month ago, according to Agence France-Presse quoted a judicial Source on Thursday.The Source said that “the Discriminatory Public Prosecutor, Judge Ghassan Oueidat, received the red notice from Interpol, based on the French arrest warrant,” against the former head of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.

A court in the Paris suburb of Nanterre issued an international arrest warrant last month for more than $16.3 million in suspicious payments between Carlos Ghosn’s Renault-Nissan alliance, accusations Ghosn has denied.

The “red notice” puts the Lebanese judiciary to the test of implementing its content. According to sources, Oweidat “will set, within the coming days or early next week, a date for summoning Ghosn and questioning him.”

The head of the “Justicia” human rights organization in Lebanon, Lawyer Paul Morcos, indicated that “in principle, the state does not extradite its citizens except in the event of a conflicting agreement with another state, obligating it to extradite its nationals, which is absent in the case of Ghosn, which is required of the French authorities.” .

He added: “Lebanon is not obligated to extradite him since he is a Lebanese citizen, and Article 31 of the Penal Code provides for the legalization of extradition in three non-mandatory cases. This article refers to the right to demand restitution, and is not mandatory.”

He explained that “to allow extradition, the state requesting extradition, that is France, must have one of the three competencies, which are that the crimes committed in the territory of the state requesting extradition, or crimes that affect its security or financial standing, or crimes committed by someone her nationals, in order to be able to request the prosecution of the person she requests to extradite and hand him over to her, but the Lebanese state has the right to refuse to hand over its nationals even if the three conditions are met.

The legal expert continued his speech, saying: “As long as the Lebanese courts have the authority to consider the case, the Lebanese state can refuse to extradite the person, based on Article 20 of the Penal Code, which states that (the Lebanese Sharia applies to every Lebanese, whether an actor, instigator or interfering, If he commits a misdemeanor or a felony punishable by Lebanese Sharia outside Lebanese territory, the case remains the same even if the defendant loses or acquires Lebanese citizenship after committing the felony or misdemeanor).

Morcos considered that, “issuing an international arrest warrant against Ghosn will limit his movements among the countries of the world, and the arrest warrant may be accompanied by pressure on Lebanon, which is hosting Ghosn, to arrest him until he is handed over to Interpol.”

He also mentioned similar cases, saying: “In 2016, an international arrest warrant was issued by Interpol against the priest Mansour Labaki, to appear before the French judiciary, but Lebanon refused to extradite him, and in another case, Lebanon also refrained from extraditing businessman Ziad Taqi Al-Din, Who was also issued an international arrest warrant from Interpol in 2020 to hand him over to the French authorities.

Morcos concluded his speech by saying: “If Lebanon insists on refusing to extradite Ghosn, the French authorities cannot obligate him, and Lebanon can try him and request his file from France, provided that once Ghosn leaves Lebanese territory, any country can arrest him under the International Red Notice. issued by Interpol and handed over.

It is noteworthy that Ghosn said last April that the international arrest warrant issued against him by the French judiciary was “still in the process of forming the file,” expressing his surprise at the timing of its issuance, two days before the French presidential elections, describing it as a “political timing.”

And he added, “The French judiciary is still at the stage of forming the file, and the strange thing is that I learned of the issuance of the warrant from the media, and it was assumed that if an arrest warrant was issued against me, my lawyer would be contacted, or me personally.”

He continued, “All the accusations against me before the French judiciary are transferred from the Japanese judicial file, and I had previously announced that the case file in Japan was suspicious.”

The businessman, who holds French, Lebanese and Brazilian nationalities, has been residing in Lebanon since December 2019, following his controversial escape from Japan, where he was awaiting trial following his arrest in 2018.

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