Japan to Request Extradition of Suspects Arrested in the United States

The Tokyo prosecution announced Thursday that it is preparing an official extradition request for two men arrested the previous day in the United States and suspected of helping former Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn to flee Japanese justice in late 2019.

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Tokyo was quick to react. In the aftermath of the announcement of the arrest in the United States of two men suspected of having helped the former boss of the Renault-Nissan alliance Carlos Ghosn to flee Japan in 2019, the Tokyo public prosecutor’s office said Thursday 21 may prepare an official request for extradition. “We are making preparations and are working in particular to cooperate for a rapid extradition,” Japanese government secretary general Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

US authorities arrested on Wednesday, at the request of Japanese authorities, a former member of the US Army special forces, Michael Taylor, and his son Peter, accused of helping the former CEO of Renault and Nissan to flee the Japan when he was to be tried there for financial embezzlement which he denied.

Three men were wanted

Japan had issued arrest warrants for Michael Taylor, 59, his 27-year-old son and a third man, George-Antoine Zayek, in January for complicity in the escape of Carlos Ghosn on December 29.

According to the Japanese prosecutor’s office, Peter Taylor went to Japan the day before Carlos Ghosn’s escape. Michael Taylor and George-Antoine Zayek arrived the same day with large black trunks generally used for the transport of musical material.

Also according to Japanese authorities, the three men met Carlos Ghosn, who entered a hotel room with Michael Taylor and George-Antoine Zayek. The former Renault-Nissan boss then hid in one of the trunks, which was taken to an airport and loaded onto a private plane bound for Turkey. Two days later, Carlos Ghosn announced that he was in Lebanon, the country of his childhood.

Seven people soon to be charged in Turkey

US authorities have arrested father and son Taylor in Massachusetts after learning that Peter Taylor had reserved a seat on a Boston-Beirut flight, court documents show.

The two men then appeared by video link before a federal judge, dressed in orange prisoner overalls. They were taken into custody at the request of the American prosecution, which raised the risk of flight.

Their lawyer, Paul Kelly, said in a press release that he planned to contest any extradition request. A representative of Carlos Ghosn refused to speak on the subject.

In a statement sent by email, Nissan said it took note of the arrests and reserved the right to take further judicial action against Carlos Ghosn. The automaker has filed a civil lawsuit against its former boss this year to claim 10 billion yen (85 million euros).

In Turkey, the prosecutor’s office said this month that it was preparing indictments against seven people, including four airplane pilots, for the escape of Carlos Ghosn from Japan to Lebanon via Istanbul.

With Reuters and AFP

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