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Nissan Motor Co.’s Saudi Arabian business partner said his company helped the automaker resolve a dealership dispute and pave the way for a joint venture in justifying $14.7 million in payments now under scrutiny by Tokyo prosecutors in the investigation of ousted Chairman Carlos Ghosn.

A company controlled by Khaled Juffali, the scion of a powerful business family and chairman of one of the kingdom’s biggest conglomerates, E.A. Juffali & Brothers, defended Ghosn in its first public statement since Tokyo prosecutors re-arrested the embattled auto executive Dec. 21 on suspicion of improperly shifting personal investment losses to the automaker.

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