Two US men extradited to Japan for helping Carlos Ghosn escape
A US father-son pair accused of helping former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn in his audacious escape from Japan arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday after losing their battle against extradition, local media said.
Former US special forces member Michael Taylor and his son Peter landed at Narita airport outside Tokyo and will be held at a detention centre following a Covid-19 test at the airport, the reports said.
The two men were arrested in May after Japan issued a warrant accusing them of helping Ghosn flee Tokyo for Lebanon in December 2019 – reportedly hidden in a large box in a private jet – as he faced financial charges in Japan.
Two weeks ago, the US Supreme Court rejected the Taylors’ emergency appeal and cleared the way for their extradition following similar rulings by lower courts.
“This is a sad day for the family, and for all who believe that veterans deserve better treatment from their own country,” Paul Kelly, their lawyer, said in a statement confirming they had been handed over to Japanese custody.
‘Brazen’ escape act
The US courts rejected the contention by the Taylors’ lawyers that the two men would face torture-like conditions in Japanese prison sufficient to merit breaching the extradition treaty between Tokyo and Washington.
US court documents show the two, and a Lebanese national, allegedly helped smuggle Ghosn out of Japan inside a large musical equipment case.
The third man accused of assisting in the escape remains at large.
Prosecutors in one court filing called it “one of the most brazen and well-orchestrated escape acts in recent history.”
Ghosn, who was a global business superstar when his career came crashing to an end, fled Japan while out on bail facing financial misconduct charges.
He was arrested in November 2018 and had been expected to face trial on charges including understating his pay and misusing company assets.
Ghosn, who has denied any wrongdoing, has said he fled because he could not get a fair trial in Japan.