Japan to US: Extradite men accused of helping ex-Nissan boss flee

Marco Green
July 3, 2020

Japan officially asked the US to hand over a one-time US Army Special Forces member and his son for helping former Nissan leader Carlos Ghosn escape from Japan.

On Friday morning in Japan, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office announced the request, saying, "We will do our best to help expedite the extradition process". The request had to be filed within 45 days of the arrests.

The men - security contractor and former USA special forces member Michael Taylor and his son Peter - were taken into custody on May 20 after they were named earlier in a Japanese arrest warrant for participating in Ghosn's dramatic escape.

It is believed he transferred between private jets at an Istanbul airport after arriving from Japan before he flew to Lebanon where he has been since his escape.

If they are extradited, the Taylors will be arrested after reaching Japanese territory and then will be investigated, Saito said.

Ghosn, who led Nissan for almost two decades before his arrest in 2018, was out on bail awaiting trial when he fled Japan.

Both Taylors have denied committing a crime, arguing in a court filing that the Japanese penal code doesn't include a provision for bail jumping.

The United States and Japan have an extradition treaty, but Lebanon and Japan do not.

If convicted in Japan, the Taylors could face a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a 300,000 yen ($2,800) fine.

According to the Turkish prosecutor, Michael Taylor, a former member of USA special forces, and Lebanese national George-Antoine Zayek, recruited an employee of private Turkish airline company MNG Jet to ensure Ghosn was able to transit through Istanbul.

Ghosn, who led Nissan Motor Co. for two decades, has repeatedly said he is innocent.

He faced charges of under-reporting future income and breach of trust in diverting Nissan money for personal gain.

The indictment said the MNG employee received several payments into his bank account totalling over 250,000 euros in the months before Ghosn's flight.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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