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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 December 2006, 11:37 GMT
Yoko Ono driver denies blackmail
Koral Karsan
Koral Karsan had worked for Yoko Ono for six years
A driver accused of trying to blackmail John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree attempted grand larceny.

Koral Karsan, 50, was arrested last week after allegedly threatening to release embarrassing photos and audio tapes of her unless she paid $2m (1m).

The chauffeur was remanded in custody after the New York court hearing to prevent him returning home to Turkey.

Mr Karsan's lawyer has said he would "vigorously dispute" the charges.

'Plotting and planning'

He has also accused Ono, 73, of pressuring Karsan "to perform immoral and at times illegal acts" and her "demands escalated over the years".

In a hearing at Manhattan State Supreme Court on Tuesday, assistant district attorney Anne Schwartz said Mr Karsan was in America "illegally".

She also said she was sure he would flee to Turkey if released.

"It is clear that the defendant has been plotting and planning to commit some sort of crime against the victim," she added.

Karsan is due back in court on January 11.

Ono driver charged with blackmail
15 Dec 06 |  Entertainment
Yoko Ono 'blackmailed by driver'
14 Dec 06 |  Entertainment
Ono sues record groups for $10m
19 Oct 06 |  Entertainment

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