BEIRUT—Carlos Ghosn, who is seeking to clear his name in Lebanon, would face a very different path to vindication here, where endemic corruption and the former auto executive’s widespread popularity could influence the outcome of a potential trial.

Mr. Ghosn, the former chief of auto makers Renault SA, Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., recently fled Japan, where he had been detained for more than a year on charges of financial crimes that he has denied. He is now in Lebanon, his homeland, where his lawyer says…

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