By CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News
(TOKYO) — After a nine-month battle fighting extradition, the American father and son duo accused of aiding former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn in his dramatic international escape have arrived in Japan.
Former Green Beret Michael Taylor and his adult son, Peter Taylor, arrived in Tokyo Tuesday morning, their lawyer Paul V. Kelly confirmed to ABC News.
“It is very disappointing that the U.S. has treated a distinguished veteran and his son in this manner,” Kelly told ABC News. “This extradition should never have occurred. The hope now is that Japan acts in a reasonable and lawful manner, and that the Taylors are returned home to their family as soon as possible.”
The father and son from Massachusetts face criminal charges in Japan, where they are accused of helping smuggle Ghosn out of the country in a box used for audio equipment while Ghosn was awaiting trial for financial crimes. Ghosn’s dramatic escape from Japan to Lebanon via private jet made international headlines last year.
In late December 2019, according to court records, Michael Taylor arrived at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Tokyo, where his son had earlier checked into a room, with “large black audio equipment-style cases.” Ghosn had separately arrived at the Grand Hyatt at about the same time.
Michael Taylor eventually loaded his luggage onto a private jet which departed for Turkey. On Dec. 31, 2019, Ghosn announced he was in Lebanon.
Court records indicate that the Taylors received more than $1.3 million from Ghosn and his family members.
“The Taylors’ alleged plot to smuggle Ghosn out of Japan was one of the most brazen and well-orchestrated escape acts in recent history, involving a dizzying array of luxury hotel meetups, fake personas, bullet train travel, and the chartering of a private jet,” Assistant US Attorney Stephen Hassink said last year.
The former Nissan chairman has denied wrongdoing and said he fled to escape “political persecution,” though he faces a litany of financial misconduct charges in Japan. Ghosn currently remains in Lebanon, which does not have an extradition agreement with Japan for its citizens.
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