Nissan says ex-chairman Carlos Ghosn appears in the Japanese court. File photo
Nissan said Tuesday it will still pursue legal action against its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, despite his escape from Japan to Lebanon.
The Japanese automaker said in a statement that Ghosn engaged in serious misconduct while leading the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance.
"The company will continue to take appropriate legal action to hold Ghosn accountable for the harm that his misconduct has caused to Nissan,” it said without giving details.
Japan's chief government spokesman told reporters Tokyo has told Lebanon that Ghosn left the country illegally, seeking cooperation in finding out what happened.
Japan and Lebanon do not have an extradition treaty. Experts have said it would be difficult to bring Ghosn back to stand trial in Tokyo. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the situation had to be handled carefully.
The Foreign Ministry said the Japanese ambassador planned to meet with Lebanese President Michel Aoun later Tuesday.
Ghosn faces charges of financial misconduct. He managed to skip bail and leave the country despite heavy surveillance while he was staying at a home in Tokyo.
Nissan's statement was the first word from the company since Ghosn's flight last week. The automaker and Japanese prosecutors allege Ghosn misstated his future compensation and diverted company assets for personal gain. He says he is innocent.
Ghosn has not appeared in public since arriving in Lebanon. He is expected to give his side of the story in a news conference planned for Wednesday in Beirut.
Earlier, he said the allegations against him were concocted by Nissan, Japanese authorities and others who wanted to block efforts toward a fuller merger between Nissan and its French alliance partner Renault SA.
Ghosn said in a statement last week that he wanted to escape "injustice.” Critics of the Japanese judicial system say his case exemplifies its tendency to move too slowly and keep suspects in detention for too long.
Nissan said in its statement that an investigation is ongoing in France, and the US Securities and Exchange Commission has found some wrongdoing.
Ghosn fled to Lebanon this week before his trial in Japan on financial misconduct charges. Turkish media reports said he flew to Lebanon on a private jet via Istanbul.
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