Two Men Lose Latest Attempt to Avoid Extradition in Ghosn Escape Case

Former green helmet BOSTON – A man and his son are about to be extradited to Japan to stand trial for the dramatic escape of the former auto tycoon.

Carlos Ghosn,

after a federal judge dismissed the duo’s latest lawsuit.

Michael L. Taylor, 60, and his son, Peter M. Taylor, 27, have been in a Boston jail since May, fighting federal attempts to extradite them to Japan. Authorities want to charge them with crimes they allegedly committed when they helped Ghosn flee the country in late 2019 by hiding in a box of music equipment.

Last Thursday, US Judge Indira Talwani rejected the Taylors’ urgent request to suspend extradition on orders from the State Department. Specifically, the Taylors argued that they would likely be tortured and treated unfairly in Japan.

Although conditions in Japan may be dire and the criminal process to which Tylors may be subjected does not meet American notions of due process, the charges do not constitute serious physical or mental pain or suffering within the meaning of the extradition rules, Judge Talwani said.

More than a year after the arrest of Carlos Ghosn, former head of Nissan, for financial mismanagement, his case took an unexpected turn when he fled from Japan to Lebanon. The head of the WSJ’s Tokyo office, Peter Landers, has the details. PHOTO: BEHROUZ MEHRI/AGENCY FRANCE-PRESS

The Taylors’ attorneys immediately filed a motion to appeal the decision, court documents show. Lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr Ghosn was charged with a financial crime in Japan when he disappeared in the Hollywood section where he boarded a high-speed train 300 miles from Tokyo to Osaka before being smuggled aboard a private jet in a music box. At the time of his escape, Ghosn had been released on bail and was living in a court-appointed house in Tokyo.

The former chief executive of the automaker’s partners Nissan Motors Co. and

Renault SA

ended up in Lebanon, which has no extradition treaty with Japan.

Michael Taylor, who has worked in private security since leaving the U.S. Army Special Forces, has experience organizing complex overseas rescue operations and other missions.

The Taylors’ lawyers did not dispute the couple’s involvement in the escape, but argued that the father-son duo did not commit the crime in Japan. Bail is not illegal in the country, and Japan’s law against harboring criminals, under which the Taylors were charged, does not apply, they say.

Email Mark Maremont at mark.maremont@wsj.com.

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Appeared in the January 29. 2021 print edition as a bid by two losers to stop Ghosn’s extradition.

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