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Two men accused of helping Carlos Ghosn flee are arrested in Boston

Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn speaks to Japanese media during a January interview in Beirut.
(Meika Fujio / Kyodo News )

Two men accused of helping Carlos Ghosn flee Japan last year were arrested in Boston on Wednesday, in the latest twist of the long-running legal saga surrounding the former Nissan chief executive.

Michael Taylor and his son, Peter Taylor, are wanted by Japanese authorities for allegedly assisting in Ghosn’s dramatic escape in December from Japan, where he was on bail awaiting trial on charges of financial crimes.

Ghosn led Nissan for almost two decades before his arrest in 2018. He was accused, among other things, of misstating his compensation. He has denied any wrongdoing and denounced the charges as being part of a plot to oust him from the company.

The two men were arrested Wednesday just before Peter Taylor was set to fly from Boston to Beirut, according to the court papers. Ghosn presently resides in Beirut.

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Both the Taylors were due to appear before a federal judge Wednesday afternoon.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Boston said the men were arrested pursuant to Japanese warrants. Prosecutors have asked that both men be denied bail while they await extradition, arguing that they are “not just capable of fleeing while on bond” but are “expert[s] on the subject.”

Carlos Ghosn’s escape from Japan to Lebanon leaves questions unanswered. Did he have a visa? Did he hide in a music box?

An attorney for Peter Taylor said he had no comment at this time. An attorney for Michael Taylor could not be immediately reached for comment.

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Ghosn’s escape from Japan was “one of the most brazen and well-orchestrated escape acts in recent history,” prosecutors said in court filings, involving “a dizzying array of hotel meet-ups, bullet train travel, fake personas and the chartering of a private jet.”

“Ultimately, Ghosn was hidden in a large black box and whisked out of Japan in the private jet without detection by Japanese authorities,” the prosecutors said.

Japanese authorities initially issued arrest warrants for the Taylors in January. In February, Michael Taylor, a former U.S. Army Green Beret, flew from Dubai to Boston, followed by his son the next month, according to the court papers.

A Turkish airline company says its jets were used illegally in former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn’s escape from Japan. Istanbul-based MNG Jet said an employee falsified records and that Ghosn’s name did not appear on any documentation related to the flights.

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Japan subsequently filed requests for their extradition after they returned to the U.S. On May 6, the U.S. requested arrest warrants for both men.

Prosecutors urged the court not to release either man on bail on the grounds that they could contract the coronavirus while in prison, arguing that neither was at high risk. They warned of “serious diplomatic repercussions” if the men were granted bail and absconded.

Michael Taylor has previously served 14 months in prison for his involvement in a kickback scheme linked to $54 million of military contracts in Afghanistan.

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