Japan asks US to extradite ex-Green Beret over Ghosn escape

Pedestrians pass by a screen showing a news program displaying a sketch of former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn in the courtroom, in Tokyo on January 8, 2019.
Pedestrians pass by a screen showing a news program displaying a sketch of former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn in the courtroom, in Tokyo on January 8, 2019.
BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Image

Japan officially asked the US to hand over a one-time US Army Special Forces member and his son for helping former Nissan leader Carlos Ghosn escape from Japan.

Tokyo prosecutors requested the extradition of Michael L. Taylor and his son Peter Maxwell Taylor, based on a US-Japan treaty, according to a statement released by the prosecutors’ office on Friday.

Ghosn, who was awaiting trial in Tokyo on financial-crime charges, jumped bail and slipped out of the country in late December aboard a private jet bound for Lebanon. Ghosn has claimed innocence, saying he had no choice but to flee because Japan’s “rigged” criminal justice system would have denied him a fair trial. Lebanon, where Ghosn holds citizenship, has no extradition treaty with Japan.

“We deeply appreciate the US authorities’ cooperation with our request,” the prosecutors said in the statement. “We will cooperate as much as possible so that the extradition procedure will proceed swiftly.”

Both Taylors have denied committing a crime, arguing in a court filing that the Japanese penal code doesn’t include a provision for bail jumping. They were arrested in Massachusetts in May at the request of Japanese authorities.

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