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Nissan's Ghosn crisis

Japan asks US to hand over ex-Green Beret who helped Ghosn

Michael Taylor and son face charges for smuggling ex-Nissan boss to Lebanon

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn in Beirut, Lebanon, where he now lives, in January.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- Japan has officially asked the U.S. to extradite an ex-Green Beret and his son for their alleged role in the cross-border escape of Carlos Ghosn, the former Nissan Motor chief who fled Tokyo last year while on bail awaiting trial on financial misconduct charges.

The U.S. State Department received the extradition requests for Michael Taylor and son Peter Taylor, Justice Department officials said in a Thursday filing.

On Friday morning in Japan, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office announced the request, saying, "We will do our best to help expedite the extradition process."

The pair, accused of helping Ghosn escape to Lebanon in a box this past December, were arrested in Massachusetts in late May.

U.S. court documents allege that Peter Taylor checked into the Grand Hyatt Tokyo on Dec. 28 -- the day before the escape -- citing surveillance camera images and hotel records.

The next day, Michael Taylor and George-Antoine Zayek -- another individual wanted by Japanese authorities -- flew to Japan's Kansai International Airport from Dubai with two large black boxes, per the documents, citing Japanese immigration records.

The two then allegedly went to Tokyo to rendezvous with Ghosn at the Hyatt. After traveling to Osaka on a bullet train with the two, Ghosn was smuggled onto a private plane in one of the boxes -- which passed airport security without being checked. The jet flew to Turkey, and then on to Lebanon.

On Dec. 31, Ghosn announced that he had arrived in Beirut.

Japan first issued a warrant for the arrest of Michael Taylor on Jan. 30. Lebanon, where Ghosn now lives, does not have an extradition treaty with Japan. But the U.S. does.

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