(ATF) An appeals court in the US on February 11 declined to further delay the extradition to Japan of two men charged with helping former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn flee the country.
The order clears the way for Michael Taylor and his son, Peter, to be handed over to Japan, after the US State Department approved their extradition.
Their lawyers said the US government could turn them over to Japan as early as today (February 12). Paul Kelly, a lawyer for the Taylors, said their defence team is "exploring ... legal options."
The Taylors were arrested in May at Japan's request after being charged with helping Ghosn flee Japan in December 2019, hidden in a box 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 engaged in financial wrongdoing, including by understating his compensation in Nissan's financial statements. Ghosn denies any wrongdoing.
$1.3 MILLION PAYMENT
The Taylors' lawyers argued they could not be prosecuted in Japan for helping someone "bail jump" and that, if extradited, they faced the prospect of torture.
But a federal judge last month held that while prison conditions in Japan "may be deplorable," that was not enough to bar extradition and that they were charged with an "extraditable offence."
Prosecutors said the elder Taylor, a 60-year-old private security specialist and his 27-year-old son received $1.3 million for their services.
In January, Nissan's former head of legal affairs, Hari Nada, testified that Ghosn feared Renault would fire him if the true scale of his Nissan salary was found out. Greg Kelly, Nada’s former boss, was arrested at the same time as Ghosn and is fighting Japanese charges that he helped conceal the ex-Nissan chief’s compensation.
The French carmaker is trying to exorcise the Ghosn legacy with its “Renaulution” unveiled last month, a turnaround plan that aims to cut €3 billion in costs. New chief executive Luca de Meo aims to cut production capacity yet generate €6 billion in cash by 2025.