Business / Corporate

Japan asks U.S. to extradite two men accused of helping Carlos Ghosn escape

Kyodo

Japan has asked the United States to extradite a former Green Beret and his son accused of helping former Nissan Motor Co. boss Carlos Ghosn escape from Japan last year while awaiting trial on financial misconduct charges, prosecutors said Friday.

The request for the handover of Michael Taylor, a 59-year-old former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, and his 27-year-old son, Peter Taylor, is based on a bilateral extradition treaty.

The two were arrested in Massachusetts in May for their alleged involvement in the dramatic escape of the fallen auto industry giant in late December. Ghosn fled to Lebanon, where he spent his childhood, via Turkey.

“We express our appreciation to U.S. authorities for their cooperation. We will do our best in cooperating with them so that handover procedures will swiftly move ahead,” the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.

Justice Minister Masako Mori told reporters her ministry will also work together with the U.S. side for the swift extradition of the Taylors.

The U.S. authorities confirmed Tokyo’s request in documents submitted to a federal court in Massachusetts.

While the Taylors’ lawyers have sought their release on bail, U.S. prosecutors say they are a flight risk. The court is currently examining whether to keep them detained.

Ghosn, who headed Nissan for nearly two decades, faced trial in Japan on allegations he misused company funds and understated his remuneration by billions of yen for years.

The 66-year-old has denied the allegations and said he fled Japan to escape what he described as a “rigged” justice system.

The Japanese government has been requesting Ghosn’s extradition through Interpol, but the Lebanese government has indicated it is unlikely to hand him over. Japan does not have an extradition treaty with Lebanon.

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