Alleged plotters of Ghosn’s escape face skeptical U.S. judge in extradition fight

by SpeedLux
Carlos Ghosn in Lebanon

A federal judge in Boston said on Thursday she would likely decline a last-ditch effort by two men to prevent being extradited to Japan to face charges that they assisted former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn to flee the country.

U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani said she was leaning toward concluding that the U.S. State Department required to take an extra step before permitting U.S. Army Special Forces veteran Michael Taylor and his son, Peter Taylor, to be handed over to Japan.

But that step, which involves certifying its compliance with the responsibility to not extradite people to nations where they could face torture, “isn’t a very heavy lift,” Talwani said.

Assuming the department did so, Talwani said she likely would rule against the Taylors. She voiced criticism against their lawyers’ arguments that they could not be prosecuted in Japan for helping someone “bail jump”.

“What we have here is a set of conduct that is a crime here and looks like is a crime there,” she said.

Talwani said she would hold off on lifting an order she issued earlier week temporarily blocking their extradition until she officially ruled. Defense lawyer Tillman Finley said the Taylors would appeal the ruling against them.

The Taylors were arrested in May this year at Japan’s request. The State Department informed their lawyers earlier week it had approved turning them over.

Prosecutors say the Taylors helped Ghosn flee Japan on December 29, 2019, hidden in a box and on a private jet before Lebanon, which has no extradition treaty with Japan. Ghosn was awaiting trial on charges of financial wrongdoing. Ghosn has rejected any wrongdoing.

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