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Fri 24 Jan 2020 02:31 AM

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France to step up probe into Carlos Ghosn's Oman money

French prosecutors are set to ask an investigative judge to take over a probe into spending by former Renault chairman Carlos Ghosn

France to step up probe into Carlos Ghosn's Oman money

French prosecutors are set to ask an investigative judge to take over a probe into spending by former Renault chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Prosecutors from Nanterre, near Paris, opened a preliminary probe last year and are planning to task an investigative judge with wider powers to continue the case, the prosecutor’s office said in an email.

Arrested in November 2018 in Tokyo and then freed on bail, Ghosn made a dramatic escape last month and fled to Lebanon. He has denied all of the Japanese charges, saying they were part of a conspiracy to prevent further integration between Nissan Motor Co and Renault.

The Nanterre probe focuses on whether Ghosn improperly used a Renault sponsorship deal to host his 2016 wedding party at the Versailles palace.

Authorities have also taken an interest in Ghosn’s relationship with a billionaire in Oman who was a Nissan intermediary over suspicions he may have helped move money into a Lebanon-based company controlled by the former car executive.

In France, Ghosn is also entangled in a separate probe into fees paid by Amsterdam-based joint venture Renault-Nissan to consultants.

Prosecutors hand over only the most complex probes to investigative judges. These typically take years to conclude.

A spokesman for Ghosn has previously denied allegations related to the Oman distributor, and said the former Renault chairman would repay the marriage-related expenses.

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