BEIRUT—As dusk settled over the capital of Lebanon, Carlos Ghosn took a seat in the back corner of a dimly lit restaurant a short walk from his house. A waiter approached. In Arabic, Mr. Ghosn ordered an espresso.

A bodyguard, after looking the place over, disappeared. Several groups of Lebanese businessmen talked quietly nearby, paying little mind to the former auto titan who had made world-wide headlines weeks earlier by escaping house arrest in Tokyo and fleeing Japan after sneaking onto a private plane in a large black…



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