US judge allows extradition of two men accused of assisting Carlos Ghosn’s escape from Japan
A U.S. judge on Thursday denied a final attempt by two men not to be extradited to Japan to bring charges that helped former Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn escape the country. The Boston District Judge Indira Talwani ruling paved the way for the handover of US Special Forces veterans Michael Taylor and his son Peter Taylor to Japan after the US State Department approved their extradition. The Taylors’ attorneys had argued that they could not be prosecuted in Japan for helping someone bail jump and that if extradited they would face relentless interrogation and torture. Ghosn tried to support her claim in a lawsuit, arguing that he had been detained, mentally tortured and intimidated for extended periods in Japan and that the Taylors would face “similar or worse conditions”. However, Ms. Talwani said that “although detention conditions in Japan may be deplorable,” it was not enough to prevent extradition and that the authorities classified her alleged actions as an “extraditable crime”. The Taylor attorneys quickly appealed. They declined to comment, as did Nissan. Ghosn and the Japanese embassy in Washington did not respond immediately. The Taylors were arrested in May at the request of Japan. MS Talwani suspended her extradition on October 29 so she could hear her challenge to the Foreign Ministry’s decision. Prosecutors say the Taylors helped Ghosn escape Japan on December 29, 2019, tucked away in a box and on a private jet, before reaching his parents’ home in Lebanon, which has no extradition treaty with Japan. Ghosn was awaiting trial on allegations of financial misconduct, including underestimating his compensation in Nissan’s financial statements. Ghosn has denied wrongdoing. Prosecutors said the elderly Taylor, a private security specialist, and his son received $ 1.3 million for their services.