Lawyers for two men accused of helping former Nissan Motor Company Ltd chairman Carlos Ghosn flee Japan while awaiting trial on financial charges have asked the US Supreme Court to intervene and delay their extradition.
Lawyers for US Army Special Forces veteran Michael Taylor and his son, Peter Taylor, asked the court on an emergency basis to put on hold a lower court order that cleared the way for them to be extradited.
The Taylors’ lawyers in a late filing Thursday, February 11, reiterated arguments that their clients could not be prosecuted in Japan for helping someone “bail jump” and that, if extradited, they faced the prospect of relentless interrogations and torture.
A federal appeals court in Boston declined earlier Thursday to issue an order preventing the Taylors’ extradition while they appealed lower-court rulings. The US State Department approved their extradition in October.
“The very least the US courts owe the petitioners is a full chance to litigate these issues, including exercising their appellate rights, before they are consigned to the fate that awaits them at the hands of the Japanese government,” defense lawyers wrote.
The US Justice Department had said the men could be turned over to Japan as early as Friday, February 12. But US authorities now say the handoff will not happen while their request to the Supreme Court is pending, said defense lawyer Paul Kelly.
The Justice Department declined to comment beyond saying it was aware of the Supreme Court filing.
The Taylors were arrested in May at Japan’s request after being charged with helping Ghosn flee Japan on December 29, 2019, hidden in a box and 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 wrongdoing.
Prosecutors said the elder Taylor, a 60-year-old private security specialist, and Peter Taylor, 27, received $1.3 million for their services. – Rappler.com