The former CEO of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn, has fled Japan less than a week ago to Lebanon to escape the Japanese charges pressed against him for financial wrongdoings. Little did he know that he will be facing new charges against him in Lebanon for treason.
Images of Ghosn in Israel with the former Israeli president Shimon Peres and the former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert have been circulating on social media, worrying the Lebanese judiciary system, along with the Lebanese community.
Ghosn visited Israel in 2008 during his time as the chairman of the Renault-Nissan alliance. In January of that year, he launched a partnership for the company with an Israeli electric car manufacturer.
The tycoon had traveled to Israel in 2008 to support a partnership with Shai Agassi, an Israeli entrepreneur who had launched an ill-fated electric vehicle venture called “Project Better Place.”
Visiting Israel and making economic deals and partnerships are considered major felonies that oppose Lebanon’s 1955 boycott law.
The Lebanese Boycott Law (23/06/1955), decree 1 states:
“It is prohibited for any natural or legal person to interact, in person or through an agreement, with bodies or persons residing in Israel or affiliated with them by their nationality or working for or on their behalf, whenever the subject of the agreement is commercial deals, financial operations, or any other transaction, whatever its nature.”
“National and foreign companies and institutions that have factories or assembly branches or general agencies in Israel are considered by the authorities prohibited from dealing with them according to the previous paragraph as decided by the cabinet/council of ministers in a decision to be published in the official newspaper.”
Lebanon does not recognize Israel as a country, but rather an illegal occupation of the lands of Palestine. Therefore, Lebanon prevents, according to this law, its citizens from visiting Israel.
Three lawyers took it upon themselves to press charges against Ghosn for normalizing with the enemy and then reentering Lebanon, which is a direct violation of the Lebanese law.
Lawyer Hassan Bazzi confirmed that he, alongside lawyers Jad Tohma and Ali Abbas, reported Ghosn to the Public Prosecutor’s Office for the crime of “entering the enemy country and violating the law of boycotting Israel, on the background of signing economic contracts with the Zionist enemy in occupied Palestine.”
Lawyer Jad Tohma said to LBCI, “Entering enemy territory is a crime. Ghosn has attended conferences inside Israel, whether by using his Lebanese or foreign passport, and has pictures taken with Peres and Olmert.”
This is not the first time Ghosn was bashed for his trip to Israel during his visits to Lebanon.
In 2017, Ghosn faced harsh criticism when he attended an honorary ceremony held for him in Beirut, which also included honoring him with a stamp that has his image printed on it.