Japanese prosecutors have obtained an arrest warrant for the wife of fugitive ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn.
Her husband fled Japan in late December, using the bullet train and two private jets to travel to Lebanon. The former executive was first arrested in Japan in 2018 and charged with financial crimes while serving as the boss of Nissan.
He denied any wrongdoing in January 2019 and has also claimed that Japan's justice system is "rigged."
According to several media reports on Tuesday, investigators believe that n April last year his spouse Carole Ghosn may have made false statements about the case to a Tokyo court.
A spokeswoman for Carole Ghosn told Reuters that the issuance of a warrant was "pathetic," noting that Ms Ghosn had traveled to Japan last year to answer questions and had left without any charges at the time.
Carole Ghosn is an American passport holder and, unlike her husband, could potentially be made subject to an extradition request between Japan and the United States.
The spokesperson added that the timing of the warrant is designed to undermine a press conference by the former Nissan boss which is due this week.
"Last time Carlos Ghosn announced a press conference and got re-arrested. This time, the day before he is announced to speak out freely for the first time, they issued an arrest warrant for his wife Carole Ghosn," the spokesperson said.
Carlos Ghosn told Fox Business Monday that at his press conference Wednesday he will name names and provide documents that show his arrest was a fabricated coup designed to remove him from power.
Interpol — the international police alliance — has placed an arrest demand on Lebanon's internal security forces.
But pressuring Lebanon to hand over Ghosn could prove difficult for Japan. A Japanese government official reportedly said Tuesday that Tokyo is currently "assessing Lebanese law" to consider options.
Japan's Justice Minister Masako Mori said Monday that she will pursue a criminal prosecution of former Nissan boss Ghosn despite his dramatic escape from the country.
She said Ghosn's attempt to avoid trial was unlawful.
"It is clear that we don't have any records of the defendant departing Japan, hence we believe that he left Japan illegally," Mori said.