Authorities in the USA have arrested a former Green Beret and his son over ex-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn’s escape from Japan ahead of his trial on financial misconduct charges.
Michael Taylor, 59, and Peter Taylor, 27, who are accused of helping him flee to Lebanon, were detained by the US Marshals Service in Harvard, Massachusetts after arrest warrants were issued in January.
Officials in Japan want the duo over charges that the two Americans helped Ghosn escape from the Far East country in December 2019 after he was released on bail.
Ghosn claims he can’t expect a fair trial in Japan, was subjected to unfair conditions in detention, and says that his bail conditions barred him from meeting wife Carole.
He protests his innocence over allegations that he under-reported his future income and committed a breach of trust by diverting Nissan money for his personal gain. The 66-year-old says the compensation was never decided on or received, and that the Nissan payments were for legitimate business purposes.
Ghosn, who was born in Lebanon and also holds French and Brazilian nationality, arrived in Lebanon on December 30 after evading surveillance in Japan.
Lebanese officials say he entered the country legally on a French passport and with a Lebanese identification card. There is no extradition treaty between Lebanon and Japan.
According to court papers, Michael Taylor flew into Kansai International Airport in Japan from the United Arab Emirates on a private jet with another man, George-Antoine Zayek, bringing two large black boxes with them and both claiming to be musicians carrying audio equipment.
The documents allege they helped Ghosn escape to the airport by hiding him in one of the boxes,
The luggage went unchecked through a security checkpoint and was loaded on a private jet bound for Turkey, the documents say. Two days later, Ghosn announced publicly that he was in Lebanon.
Peter Taylor went to Japan at least three times since July 2019 and met Ghosn at least seven times during those visits, including the day before his escape, say court records.
Meanwhile, according to a Japanese lawyer, Turkish prosecutors are getting ready to charge four pilots, two flight attendants and one other person over Ghosn’s flight, which went via Istanbul.
An arrest warrant was also issued for Zayek in January.
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