US State Dept approves extradition of Michael and Peter Taylor

In the latest chapter of ex-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn’s dramatic downfall, two Americans are about to face Japan’s notoriously tough justice system. The US State Department has approved the extradition of Michael and Peter Taylor, who are accused of helping Ghosn flee Japan, reports the Associated Press.

Ghosn was under house arrest in Japan, awaiting trial for alleged financial malfeasance during his tenure as head of Nissan and the Renault-Nissan Alliance. In December 2019, Michael Taylor (pictured), a former member of the US Special Forces, and his son Peter, allegedly smuggled Ghosn out of Japan in a musical instrument case on two charter flights, from Japan to Turkey, and then from Turkey to Ghosn’s childhood home of Lebanon.

According to the AP, the Taylors have received payments from the Ghosn family totaling $1.36 million in cryptocurrency via a company linked to Peter Taylor. Michael Taylor ran a business security firm after retiring from the US Army.

The Taylors have been in jail in Massachusetts since their arrest in May. A Federal judge was attempting to block the extradition request from Japan, but on Wednesday, the State Department overruled her, the Taylors’ lawyers said.

Ghosn, for his part, maintains his innocence and says that he fled Japan because he didn’t expect a fair trial in Japan’s court system, which has a 99.9 percent conviction rate. Unless this saga takes another unexpected turn, the Taylors will now have to face that very system.

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