Fugees Rapper Pras Testifies He Met and Shared Information With the FBI Voluntarily
During his federal conspiracy trial, Pras Michel admitted that he voluntary shared information with the FBI.
According to a Rolling Stone article, published last Tuesday (April 18), Pras took the stand in his own federal conspiracy trial and revealed that he voluntarily met with FBI agents on several occasions to discuss China's efforts to extradite a prominent dissident. It's rare for defendants to testify in their own trials, but the former Fugees member did so "after consulting with my attorneys and the universe, reported Mother Jones correspondent Dan Friedman on Twitter.
Pras is facing 10 charges, including conspiracy, witness tampering and failing to register as an agent of China. Prosecutors alleged the veteran rhymer was the middleman for alleged crimes, including a secret lobbying campaign to help Malaysian billionaire Jho Low put pressure on American justice officials and White House officials when his fraud scheme unraveled and to help the Chinese government "secure the return" of a dissident who was living inside the U.S.
While on the stand, Pras addressed his alleged efforts to get the U.S. to extradite Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui. In addition, he denied acting as an agent for China.
"I took it upon myself to report because I thought the FBI should know," he testified.
Before his trial started, the 50-year-old artist told Rolling Stone, "What benefit would I get trying to break laws? It’s not worth it to me. I’m like a pariah now. I’ve got friends who won’t talk to me because they think there’s a satellite in orbit listening to them."
To be clear, Pras never testified on the stand that he was an FBI informant. His approach to the FBI, to discuss Guo Wengui and three Americans held in China, was completely voluntary.
If convicted, Pras faces 22 years in prison. On Monday (April 24), the conspiracy case went to the jury for deliberations.