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Tue 9 Jun 2020 10:08 AM

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Ghosn's alleged escape accomplice denies committing a crime

Michael Taylor and his son, Peter, are fighting efforts by Japanese authorities to extradite them after they were arrested last month in the US for for their alleged role in smuggling Carlos Ghosn to Lebanon

Ghosn's alleged escape accomplice denies committing a crime

Carlos Ghosn fled to Lebanon late last year while he was facing trial in Japan for alleged financial misconduct.

Image: AFP

A onetime US Army Special Forces member accused of assisting in the cloak-and-dagger escape of Nissan Motor Co.’s former chairman from Japan claims the offence he’s charged with isn’t a crime under Japanese law.

Michael Taylor and his son, Peter, are fighting efforts by Japanese authorities to extradite them after they were arrested last month in the US for for their alleged role in smuggling Carlos Ghosn to Lebanon late last year while he was facing trial in Japan for alleged financial misconduct.

The Taylors say their US arrest warrants should be thrown out on the grounds that they don’t allege a crime that qualifies for extradition. The warrants accuse the father and son of assisting Ghosn in jumping his bail, which isn’t a crime under the Japanese penal code, according to a filing by the Taylors Monday in Boston federal court.

Japanese officials, in their request for the extradition of the Taylors, accused them of a different offence: helping Ghosn to leave Japan without approval of an immigration officer.

“This, at least, is arguably an actual crime under Japanese law, but it is only punishable as a misdemeanour,” the Taylors said in their filing. “Therefore, extradition for that offense is not available under” the US-Japan extradition treaty, they argued.

A US prosecutor handling the case declined to comment and referred questions to the Boston US Attorney’s press office, which had no immediate comment.

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