The two men who helped Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn escape Japan face extradition after a request by prosecutors in Tokyo.
Father-and-son Michael and Peter Taylor were arrested in May in Massachusetts after being accused of helping Ghosn flee to Lebanon in December while he was awaiting trial on financial misconduct charges.
Tokyo prosecutors have now filed an extradition request for the two Americans.
The Tokyo District Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement: ‘We express our deepest gratitude for the cooperation the US authorities have shown to our request.
‘We plan to cooperate in all ways possible so the extradition procedures for the two can be carried out quickly.’
The extradition request does not immediately mean Michael Taylor, a 59-year-old former Green Beret and private security specialist, and his son Peter Taylor, 27, will be handed over.
Their lawyer has argued that jumping bail is technically not a crime in Japan.
Prosecutors in Japan have brushed off that argument, stressing that Japan has arrest warrants out for the Taylors for allegedly helping a criminal escape, which is a crime under Japanese law.
Authorities claim the Taylors helped sneak Ghosn out of Japan on a private jet with the former Nissan boss tucked away in a large box.
If convicted, the Taylors could face a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a 300,000 yen (£2,200) fine.
Prosecutors have also been trying to bring Ghosn back to Japan, but Lebanon, unlike the US, does not have an extradition treaty with Japan.
Ghosn, who led car giant Nissan for two decades, has repeatedly said he is innocent. He said he fled because he believes he could not expect a fair trial in Japan.
Ghosn faced charges of under-reporting future income and breach of trust in diverting Nissan money for personal gain. He said the compensation was never decided on or received, and that the payments were legitimate.
- Rate your manufacturer and favourite suppliers in Car Dealer Power – it takes a few minutes to have your say here
- Join our breaking news WhatsApp group. Broadcast only, no chit chat, and headlines to your phone. Send us a message and ask to join here.
- Download the latest digital edition of Car Dealer Magazine Issue 148 for free here.