| 24 February 2024, Saturday |

Two Americans accused of helping Ghosn escape  handed over to Japanese authorities

An American father and son accused of helping former Nissan Motor Co Ltd Chairman Carlos Ghosn flee Japan are being handed over on Monday to Japanese authorities for extradition from the United States, a person familiar with the matter said.

The U.S. Supreme Court last month cleared the way for the extradition of U.S. Army Special Forces veteran Michael Taylor and his son, Peter Taylor, who are accused of helping Ghosn flee Japan while he was awaiting trial on financial charges.

The Taylors, who have been in U.S. custody since their arrest in May, left the jail early on Monday to be flown to Japan, according to the person.

Defense attorney Paul Kelly did not respond to a request for comment but told the Associated Press that the men had been turned over for extradition. The U.S. Justice Department declined to comment.

They were charged last year with helping Ghosn flee Japan on Dec. 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 $1.3 million for their services.

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

The Taylors’ lawyers argued unsuccessfully in U.S. courts 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