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US extraditing two men charged in Ghosn escape to Japan, says lawyer

Boston – An American father and son accused of helping former Nissan Motor Co Ltd Chairman Carlos Ghosn flee Japan while awaiting trial on financial charges were yesterday handed over to Japanese authorities for extradition from the United States, their lawyer said.

The development followed a months-long battle by lawyers for US Army Special Forces veteran Michael Taylor and his son, Peter Taylor, to avoid being sent to Japan to faces charges they helped Ghosn escape the country in a box.

The US Supreme Court last month cleared the way for the extradition of the Taylors, who have been in US custody since their arrest in May. Paul Kelly, their lawyer, confirmed they were en route to Japan.

“This is a sad day for the family, and for all who believe that veterans deserve better treatment from their own country,” he said in a statement.

The US Justice Department and the US State Department declined to comment.

The Taylors were charged last year with helping Ghosn flee Japan on December 29, 2019, hidden in a box and on a private jet before reaching his childhood home, Lebanon, which has no extradition treaty with Japan.

Ghosn was awaiting trial on charges that he had engaged in financial wrongdoing, including by understating his compensation in Nissan’s financial statements. Ghosn denies wrongdoing.

Prosecutors said the elder Taylor, a 60-year-old private security specialist, and Peter Taylor, 27, received US$1.3 million (RM5.27 million) for their services.

The Taylors, with the aid of a collection of high-powered lawyers and lobbyists, for months waged a campaign to press their case against extradition in the courts, media, State Department and White House.

The Taylors’ lawyers argued that their clients could not be prosecuted in Japan for helping someone “bail jump” and that, if extradited, they faced the prospect of relentless interrogations and torture. ― Reuters

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