Japanese officials have made arrangements to travel to the U.S. in “the coming days” to retrieve the two Americans accused of helping former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn escape Tokyo, court records show.
Federal prosecutors on Friday asked U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani in Boston to lift a stay on the extradition of the former Green Beret Michael Taylor and his son Peter so that the Japanese authorities can take the pair into custody when they arrive.
Talwani issued the stay Thursday following an emergency motion by the Taylors’ lawyers, who said they learned from Japanese media that the two men were set to be shipped to Tokyo that same day on a 1 p.m. flight from Boston. The U.S. State Department had informed them late Wednesday that it authorized Japan’s extradition request, giving defense lawyers less than 18 hours to respond.
But in the filing on Friday, the U.S. said it “had no intent to extradite the Taylors within hours of giving notice that the surrender warrants had been issued.” The government argued Talwani should lift the stay, calling the Taylors’ efforts to block the extradition “meritless.”
The Taylors, who have been jailed outside Boston since their arrest in mid-May, never left their detention facility on Thursday, Paul V. Kelly, one of their lawyers, said by email Friday.
The Taylors have never denied that they were involved in Ghosn’s escape. But they argued in federal court that their alleged offense didn’t break the law in Japan and that they wouldn’t be treated fairly in the Japanese legal system.
Last month, however, U.S. Magistrate Donald Cabell in Boston authorized the Japanese extradition request, ruling that it was not the role of an American court to parse the nuances of a foreign penal code.
Kelly said the Taylors’ legal team sent a message to Talwani to request additional days to submit a more detailed response to the government’s Friday filing.
“We had to scramble to prepare and file the petition and emergency motion that we filed yesterday,” the lawyers said in the message, which Kelly provided. “The travel schedule or convenience of Japanese officials is not our concern.”
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