Suspected of helping former Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn to flee Tokyo to Lebanon under incredible conditions in December 2019, two Americans were handed over to Japanese authorities for extradition, their lawyer said. , Paul Kelly this Monday.
Michael Taylor, a former member of the US special forces converted to private security, and his son Peter Taylor were handed over to Japanese officials, said Paul Kelly, speaking of “a sad day for the family and for all who believe that veterans deserve to be treated better by their own country ”.
A “great risk of flight”
Japan accuses Michael and Peter Taylor, as well as the Lebanese George-Antoine Zayek, of having helped Carlos Ghosn escape justice by fleeing the country at the end of December 2019. Peter Taylor and his father Michael, both targeted by a warrant for arrest in Japan, were arrested in May in the United States. They then remained detained because they were considered to present a “great risk of absconding”. The US Supreme Court lifted the last obstacle to their extradition on February 13. On the morning of December 31, 2019, Japan discovered with amazement the flight to Lebanon of its most famous accused.
Two days earlier, while on bail in Japan where he is accused of financial embezzlement at Nissan, the Franco-Lebanese-Brazilian was quietly leaving Tokyo to reach Osaka (west of the country) by train with two accomplices. Arrived in Beirut on December 30 after a connection in Istanbul, he is suspected of having escaped controls at Osaka airport by being hidden in a box of audio equipment on board a private jet, baggage control at the time not mandatory for this type of device.
A document from US prosecutors refers to “one of the most brazen and best orchestrated leaks in recent history.” Carlos Ghosn, who is the subject of an Interpol arrest request, remains beyond the reach of Japanese judges, because Lebanon does not extradite its nationals. Lebanese justice, however, prohibited him from leaving the country.
“I have not fled justice, I escaped injustice” he hammered in early January 2020 during a conference-show in Beirut in front of cameras around the world. Arrested in November 2018 at the descent of his jet in Japan, the businessman once adored by the Japanese for the recovery of the Japanese manufacturer Nissan, was released on bail in April 2019, after 130 days of imprisonment. “The Ghosn Affair” has many ramifications in Japan and abroad.
Three Turkish nationals sentenced
In addition to the main trial on the Japanese archipelago, Carlos Ghosn is also concerned by several judicial inquiries in France, relating in particular to suspicions of abuse of corporate assets at Renault and the Dutch subsidiary of Renault-Nissan, RNBV.
Also, a criminal trial opened in mid-September in Tokyo to try the former Nissan legal officer, the American Greg Kelly, arrested in Japan on the same day as Carlos Ghosn in November 2018 and who, like him, claims his innocence. In Istanbul, three Turkish nationals – a senior official of the private aviation company MNG Jet and two pilots – were sentenced on February 24 to four years and two months in prison for their role in the exfiltration of the man from business. Two other pilots and two flight attendants, tried at the same time, were released.