Japanese officials have formally asked the US to extradite two Americans accused of helping ex-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn carry out his action-movie escape from Tokyo.
Japan submitted its requests for the extradition of former Green Beret Michael Taylor and his son Peter to the US State Department pursuant to the two nations’ extradition treaty, federal prosecutors said in a Thursday court filing.
The disclosure came more than a month after the feds nabbed the Taylors in May. Tokyo prosecutors had issued arrest warrants for the father-son duo, who allegedly helped execute an elaborate December caper to get Ghosn to Lebanon that involved stuffing the former auto exec into an audio equipment box.
Federal prosecutors said they would provide copies of Japan’s extradition requests to the Taylors’ lawyers, but the documents did not appear in federal court filings Friday morning. The State Department referred questions to the Department of Justice, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Neither the Japanese embassy nor an attorney for the Taylors immediately replied to emails seeking comment.
The requests came amid a legal battle between the feds and the Taylors’ lawyers over whether to quash the warrants for their arrests. The pair’s legal team has argued that their alleged role in Ghosn’s escape did not amount to an actual crime in Japan, a claim prosecutors say relies on a “flawed” interpretation of Japanese law.
At the time of his escape, Ghosn, 66, was out on bail in Tokyo while awaiting trial for allegedly under-reporting $80 million in compensation earnings and siphoning off company cash for his own use. He has denied the allegations and said he fled “persecution.”
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