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US Turns Over 2 Americans in Smuggling of Nissan Boss

Father and son tried to avoid extradition in Carlos Ghosn case
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 1, 2021 4:45 PM CST

(Newser) – An American father and son wanted by Japan for helping former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn escape from the country in a box were handed over to Japanese custody Monday, ending their monthslong battle to stay in the US. Michael Taylor and his son, Peter Taylor, failed to persuade US officials and courts to block their extradition to Japan, the AP reports, where they will be tried on charges that they smuggled Ghosn out of the country in 2019 while the former auto titan was awaiting trial on financial misconduct charges. The Massachusetts men, who have been locked up at a suburban Boston jail since their arrest in May, were handed over to Japanese officials early Monday, said one of their attorneys, Paul Kelly. The Taylors' lawyers argued that the accusations don't fit the law Japan wants to try them under and that they would be treated unfairly in Japan and subjected to "mental and physical torture." They have accused Japan of pursuing the pair in an attempt to save face after the embarrassment of Ghosn's escape.

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Michael Taylor, a US Army Special Forces veteran and private security specialist who in the past was hired by parents to rescue abducted children, has never denied the allegations. He gave an interview to Vanity Fair magazine last year in which he described the mission in detail. When asked why he did it, he responded with the motto of the Special Forces: "De oppresso liber" or "to liberate the oppressed," the magazine reported. He refused to discuss the details of the case in a recent interview because of the possibility that he will be tried in Japan. But he insisted that his son wasn’t involved and was not even in Japan when Ghosn left. Ghosn, who became one of the auto industry's most powerful executives by engineering a turnaround at the Japanese manufacturer, had been out on bail after his November 2018 arrest on charges that he underreported his future income and committed a breach of trust by diverting Nissan money for his personal gain. Ghosn has denied the allegations and has said he fled to avoid political persecution.

(Read more Carlos Ghosn stories.)

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