The U.S. Department of Justice has urged judges to refuse to block the extradition of two American men wanted in Japan at the last minute in order to help former Nissan Motor Company boss Carlos Ghosn escape the country in the box.
Allegedly, Michael Taylor, 60, and his son Peter, 27, helped Ghosn escape from Japan in December last year. At the time, Ghosn was under house arrest in Tokyo and faced criminal charges, accusing him of under-reporting $80 million in income.
The Taylors were arrested on suspicion of participating in Ghosn’s escape in May and detained in a Massachusetts prison. The Japanese government hopes to prosecute the two people and seek their extradition.
On Thursday, the Taylors received last-minute hope that they would not be sent to Japan, because the U.S. District Court judge allowed them to transit soon on the plane scheduled to fly to Tokyo.
But on Friday, Justice Department defense lawyer Stephen Hassink described the Taylors’ “eleventh hour block of extradition activities” as “unfounded” and asked the judge to allow their father and son to be transferred to Japan.
Michael Taylor and his son were almost extradited to Japan on Thursday, and then a federal judge delayed the decision.The U.S. Department of Justice has asked judges to reject their bid for freedom
Hashink wrote in court documents: “Here, the United States is very interested in the speedy resolution of Japan’s (and other treaty partners) extradition request.”
Taylor’s lawyers, including former Trump White House lawyer Ty Cobb, said on Thursday that they also called on officials within the State Department and the White House to block extradition.
The State Department said it would not comment on pending extradition requests.
In a joint statement, the Taylors’ two lawyers stated that they are actively seeking to get the State Department and the White House to reconsider the decision to authorize their clients to hand over clients.
They said that the surrender of these two American citizens to Japan would be extremely unjust.
The State Department and the White House declined to comment.
Taylor smuggled Ghosn out of Japan using a custom-made subwoofer box (right)
Prosecutors said that the Taylors contributed to a “blind” escape, in which Carlos Ghosn, 66, fled Japan on December 29, 2019, hiding in a box of music equipment and a private plane. In the plane.
Michael Taylor, a former Green Beret man, was working as a security contractor in Asia when he was in contact with Ghosn.
He also faces charges that he transferred $16 million in personal losses to the company’s books and used Nissan to secretly fund his luxurious lifestyle.
The flight first flew to Turkey and then to Lebanon, where Ghosn acquired his nationality. There is no extradition treaty between Lebanon and Japan.
Ghosn said that he fled because he could not expect a fair trial, was subjected to unfair conditions when detained, and was prohibited from meeting his wife under bail conditions.
Ghosn, born in Brazil, also has French and Lebanese nationalities.He knows he can safely protect himself from Lebanese extradition
Prosecutors said in court documents that bank records showed that Ghosn had wire transferred more than $860,000 to a company connected to Peter Taylor in October 2019.
The prosecutor said that Ghosn’s son also paid Peter Taylor a total of approximately $500,000 in cryptocurrency payments in the first five months of this year.
However, as early as July, in an interview with Vanity Fair, Michael minimized his son’s participation. In the same sit-down interview, he also claimed that he did not even make money from bold plans.
Michael Taylor (pictured) said he was first suspected of being involved in this incident in 2019
Michael told the magazine that he first received a call about Ghosn in the spring of 2019.
A Lebanese intermediary with whom Michael had worked told him: “We have a man. He is very close to us. He is on the Japanese railway. Can anything help us?”
Michael accepted the job and in the following months formed a team of experts consisting of maritime operations, airport security, information technology, police and anti-surveillance. Most of them were former special forces personnel he encountered in the military.
Michael told Vanity Fair that he called his lawyers and other legal experts and asked whether helping someone in Japan obtain bail would violate any laws in the United States, and was convinced that he would not do so.
After initially considering taking Ghosn out of the sea secretly, Taylor rejected the plan and pointed out that it would need to travel 2,600 miles of open water to Thailand before boarding the plane to Lebanon.
Ghosn, born in Brazil, also has French and Lebanese nationalities. He knows that he can safely protect himself from Lebanon’s extradition. Lebanon’s overarching policy is to refuse to extradite its own citizens, and he is regarded as a national hero in Lebanon.
Ghosn firmly denied all charges against him and claimed that the prosecution against him was motivated by Japanese xenophobia.
Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn and his wife Carole Ghosn speak during an interview with Reuters in Beirut, Lebanon after fleeing Japan
TC-RZA is a private jet that was used by the expelled Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn on his way from Japan to Lebanon via Turkey. The location in the photo is unknown.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Michael described how he developed a plan to extract Ghosn in the air. A private charter plane is needed because Ghosn’s notoriety makes commercial air travel impossible to escape.
The former Green Beret expert and his team studied five airports near Tokyo and found a critical flaw at Kansai International Airport-the terminal did not have a scanner large enough to accommodate a box the size of a human goods.
Michael and his team created a set of custom-made subwoofer shells that were large enough to hold a 165-pound Ghosn and carefully drilled some air holes in the bottom.
Michael also discovered a critical flaw in maintaining the safety of Ghosn’s house arrest. Although he has been monitored by two plainclothes detectives paid by Nissan and pointed at three cameras at his door, these cameras are not live broadcast.
Instead, the camera records locally, and the video tape is picked up once a week. The date when the tape is collected varies, but it is always Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. Until next week, Thursday’s escape may not be discovered.
The plot unfolded in late December. Taylor and his team landed in Osaka at 10:30 in the morning on a private jet leased by a Turkish company. The company promised not to raise any questions.
Ghosn walked out of the front door that afternoon, wearing a hat and surgical mask that were common in Japan before the pandemic, and then walked to the Grand Hyatt Hotel, where he was often allowed to eat lunch.
Seeing the residence of former car tycoon Carlos Ghosn (Carlos Ghosn) in Tokyo after fleeing
Investigators claimed that Ghosn met Michael Taylor in a room in a Hyatt hotel booked in the name of Taylor’s son-but Taylor rejected Vanity Fair, saying he met Ghosn in the lobby.
Michael, Lebanese associates George Zayek (George Zayek) and Ghosn (Ghosn) then took a high-speed train from Tokyo to Osaka. Before about 10 p.m., Michael said that he explained to the airport manager that his banquet was late and he needed to go through the security check and provide a tip of ten thousand dollars.
Ghosn is now in a custom-made subwoofer and was transported to the airport in just 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time of the charter flight is 10:30 pm.
Airport security personnel and baggage handlers were working all day, and the tired staff did not give the team or their cargo a second glance.
Michael recalled: “There was no X-ray, not even our backpack.”
Michael said that after loading the organization’s luggage (including the box containing Ghosn), one of the workers handed Michael an envelope with a “tip” that Michael provided to the manager, saying that accepting cash gifts violated airport policy of.
Although there are rumors that the robbery will cost US$30 million, court documents show that the transfer from Ghosn to Taylor is about US$1.3 million.
Michael told Vanity Fair that the cost of the plan was approximately $1.3 million and that he did not profit from the joint venture. He said that Ghosn did not offer to pay him. Michael said that he has achieved “liberal liberation” with the motto of liberating the oppressed, that is, the motto of special forces.
He told the magazine: “If I do it for money, the money will be paid in advance.”
The Taylors argued that the charges against them were fatally flawed, because Japanese criminal law did not criminalize helping others to “bail” unless the person was detained.