Accused Ghosn smugglers face extradition

·1-min read

The US Supreme Court has cleared the way for the extradition to Japan of an American father and son accused of helping former Nissan Motor Co chairman Carlos Ghosn flee that country while awaiting trial on financial misconduct charges.

In a brief order, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer denied an emergency request by lawyers for US Army Special Forces veteran Michael Taylor and his son, Peter Taylor, to put on hold a lower court order that cleared the way for them to be extradited.

The Taylors' lawyers in a late Thursday filing reiterated arguments 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.

Lawyers for the Taylors and the Justice Department did not immediately comment on Saturday. The Japanese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A federal appeals court had declined on Thursday to issue an order preventing the Taylors' extradition while they appealed lower-court rulings. The US State Department approved their extradition in October.

Lawyers for the Taylors argued the men could not legally be extradited and would face harsh, unfair treatment in Japan.

The Taylors were arrested in May at Japan's request after being 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 has no extradition treaty with Japan.

Ghosn was awaiting trial on charges that he had engaged in financial wrongdoing, including by understating his compensation in Nissan's financial statements. Ghosn denies wrongdoing.

Prosecutors said the elder Taylor, a 60-year-old private security specialist, and Peter Taylor, 27, received $US1.3 million for their services.