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Carlos Ghosn in Norway

Court clears extradition of Ghosn’s accused escape plotters to Japan

A U.S. appeals court on Thursday refused to further delay the extradition to Japan of two men charged with helping former Nissan Motor CEO Carlos Ghosn flee the country.

The order by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston clears the way for U.S. Army Special Forces veteran Michael Taylor and his son, Peter Taylor, to be handed over to Japan after the U.S. State Department approved their extradition.

Their lawyers had said that absent a stay of a prior ruling that they were seeking to appeal that allowed for their extradition, the U.S. government could turn over the Taylors to Japan as early as Friday.

Paul Kelly, a lawyer for the Taylors, said their defense team is presently exploring the Taylors’ legal options. The U.S. Justice Department has not commented.

The Taylors were arrested in May at Japan’s request after they were charged with helping Ghosn flee Japan on December 29, 2019, hidden in a box and on a private jet before reaching his childhood home, Lebanon, which lacks an extradition treaty with Japan.

Ghosn was awaiting trial on charges that he engaged in financial misconduct by understating his compensation in Nissan’s financial statements. Ghosn rejects any wrongdoing.

Prosecutors said the elder Taylor, a 60-year-old private security specialist, and Peter Taylor, 27, got $1.3 million for their services.

The Taylors’ lawyers argued that their clients could not be prosecuted in Japan for helping someone “bail jump” and that, if extradited, they faced the prospect of relentless interrogations and torture.

But Indira Talwani. a federal judge. last month held that while prison conditions in Japan “may be deplorable,” it was not enough to obstruct extradition and that they were charged with an “extraditable offense”.

The Taylors’ high-powered defense team during their months-long legal fight had also lobbied the White House under then US President Donald Trump to step in.

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