French prosecutors step up Ghosn probe over palace party, Oman dealings

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FILE PHOTO: Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn gestures during a news conference at the Lebanese Press Syndicate in Beirut, Lebanon January 8, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) – French prosecutors said on Wednesday they had assigned a judge to formally investigate various allegedly suspect financial dealings linked to Renault (RENA.PA), which a judicial source said were related to the carmaker’s former boss Carlos Ghosn.

The prosecutor’s office in Nanterre, on the outskirts of Paris, said in a statement it was stepping up an investigation into an unnamed person on several charges, including for misappropriating assets.

It said suspect financial flows between Renault and a car dealership in Oman, as well as spending on trips and events, would be examined.

Prosecutors have previously said they had launched a preliminary probe into Ghosn over his use of the Versailles palace to organize a party. The judicial source confirmed a Versailles event was among those the judge would look into further.

Ghosn, who was arrested in Japan in late 2018 on financial misconduct charges before fleeing to Lebanon last December, has repeatedly denied any wrong-doing.

Reporting by Marine Pennetier; Writing by Sarah White; Editing by Geert De Clercq

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