NEW YORK - Friends presented a $250,000 bail package Friday for Yoko Ono's driver, jailed after he was accused of threatening to have John Lennon's widow killed unless she gave him $2 million.
The bail for Koral Karsan, 50, was presented as two cashier's checks, his lawyer Robert Gottlieb said. He said Karsan remained in jail while the Manhattan district attorney's office reviewed the people who put up the money.
"These are close friends of his," Gottlieb said of the people who put up the bail. "Neither is a relative. They have no criminal records. They own their own private businesses and have more than enough assets to cover the bail."
Jennifer Kushner, spokeswoman for the district attorney, confirmed that her office had received the bail package and was reviewing it.
Karsan was arrested Wednesday and charged with attempted grand larceny. He was accused of handing the 73-year-old Ono a letter on Dec. 8, the 26th anniversary of the former Beatle's slaying, in front of the home he and Ono shared.
In the letter, Karsan threatened to release embarrassing recordings and photographs of Ono and even have her killed unless she gave him $2 million, prosecutors said at the driver's arraignment Thursday in Manhattan Criminal Court.
When Judge Tanya Kennedy set bail at $500,000 bond or $250,000 cash, she gave prosecutors 72 hours to investigate the money's source, a move usually made to ensure the money is not criminal proceeds.
Kasrsan, of Amityville, N.Y., told Ono "he had people on standby waiting to kill (her) on his orders," Assistant District Attorney Maureen O'Connor said at the driver's arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court.
O'Connor had argued against any bail being set for the Turkish-born Karsan, calling him an "extraordinary flight risk." She said he has been in this country about 10 years, has family, property and contacts back home in Turkey, and "there is no doubt he would flee" if released on bail.
Gottlieb said both people who put up the bail met with the prosecutor Friday.
"If she (the prosecutor) gave the OK, he would be out this evening," Gottlieb said, adding that Karsan is being housed at the Manhattan detention complex popularly known as the Tombs. "There is no reason for her not to give the OK."
On the night of Dec. 8, 1980, Lennon and Ono were returning home to their Manhattan apartment building, the Dakota, when Mark David Chapman opened fire with a .38-caliber revolver, hitting Lennon four times.
Fans observe the anniversary of Lennon's death by gathering at Strawberry Fields, a section of Central Park opposite the Dakota. In the past, Ono and son Sean Lennon have placed candles on the windowsill of their apartment as a message of support.