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2 Americans charged in Carlos Ghosn's escape extradited to Japan

Japanese officials hold up plastic covers as a group of passengers get on a bus from the plane believed to be carrying former US Special Forces member Michael Taylor and his son Peter, who allegedly staged the operation to help fly former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn out of Japan in 2019, at Narita Airport in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, on March 2, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Two American nationals, a father and son, have arrived in Japan to face charges of helping former Nissan Motor Co Ltd Chairman Carlos Ghosn escape trial, after they lost an appeal against extradition.

Former US Special Forces member Michael Taylor and his son Peter were handed over to Japanese prosecutors earlier on Tuesday.

Local media said the two landed at Narita airport outside Tokyo and will be transferred to a detention center after clearing immigration and taking a COVID-19 test.

No immediate official confirmation of their arrival in Japan has yet been made.

The pair is accused of helping Ghosn — who was out on bail awaiting trial on financial charges — escape Japan in an audio-equipment case and on a private jet in December 2019.

Prosecutors have said the two received 1.3 million dollars for their services.

A third accomplice in the escape remains at large.

The extradition of the Taylors, who were arrested in May, came after the US Supreme Court in February rejected their appeal to block Japan’s extradition request. They had argued that they would face torture in Japan.

“This is a sad day for the family, and for all who believe that veterans deserve better treatment from their own country,” their lawyer, Paul Kelly, said in a statement on Monday, confirming their extradition.

Ghosn is now in his childhood home country of Lebanon, which does not have an extradition treaty with Tokyo.

The French-Lebanese-Brazilian national was awaiting trial on charges of understating his compensation in Nissan’s financial statements and enriching himself at his employer’s expense through payments to car dealerships, which he denies.

En route to Lebanon, Ghosn allegedly transited in Turkey and switched planes.

Last month, a court in Turkey handed two pilots and another employee of a small private airline jail sentences for their role in smuggling Ghosn.

After his arrival in Lebanon, Ghosn claimed that he had “escaped injustice and political persecution.”

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