Men accused of helping Nissan boss flee Japan challenge US extradition case

09 June 2020 - 10:04 By Reuters
Former Nissan Motor CEO Carlos Ghosn speaks during a group interview for Japanese media on January 10, 2020 in Beirut, Lebanon.
Former Nissan Motor CEO Carlos Ghosn speaks during a group interview for Japanese media on January 10, 2020 in Beirut, Lebanon.
Image: The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images

Lawyers for the former Green Beret and son wanted by Japan for helping former Nissan Motor Co boss Carlos Ghosn flee the country on Monday argued US authorities wrongly arrested them for aiding a crime that they say not exist in Japan: bail jumping.

Lawyers for Michael Taylor and his son, Peter Taylor, in a motion asked a federal judge in Boston to quash the US warrants issued last month for their arrests or release them on bail while their extradition case proceeds.

US authorities arrested the Taylors in May at Japan's request for allegedly smuggling Ghosn out of the country in a box while he was out on bail awaiting trial on financial charges.

Their lawyers on Monday argued that neither bail jumping nor helping someone do so are crimes in Japan.

The defence attorneys said that fact is “so far beyond dispute that the Japanese government has begun considering whether it should amend the law to make such conduct a crime”.

While Japan has issued arrest warrants for the Taylors, their lawyers said the crime stated in the Japanese warrants is an immigration offence, a non-extraditable misdemeanour.

The lawyers added that neither Taylor, including Michael, a US Army Special Forces veteran who founded a private security company, pose a flight risk requiring them to be held without bail.

The justice department and Japanese embassy in Washington did not respond to requests for say.

US authorities arrested the Taylors in Harvard, Massachusetts, on May 20 at the request of Japan, which in January issued arrest warrants for both men in connection with facilitating the December 29, 2019, escape.

Ghosn fled to Lebanon, his childhood home, while he was awaiting trial on charges that he engaged in financial wrongdoing, including by understating his compensation in Nissan's financial statements. He denies wrongdoing.


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