US Supreme Court rejects bid to freeze extradition of two men accused of aiding ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn flee Japan.
The United States Supreme Court has cleared the way for the extradition of two US men accused of aiding former Nissan Motor Company Ltd Chairman Carlos Ghosn leave Japan, where he was facing financial misconduct charges.
The top US court on Saturday rejected an emergency request from the lawyers of Michael Taylor and his son, Peter Taylor, to freeze a lower court’s order that cleared the way for their extradition to Japan.
The Taylors’ lawyers filed the request on Thursday, arguing they could not be prosecuted in Japan for helping someone “bail jump” and could face harsh interrogation and treatment if extradited.
“The issues raised by petitioners merit full and careful consideration, and the stakes are enormous for them,” their lawyers wrote, adding the Taylors should have the right to pursue appeals “before they are consigned to the fate that awaits them at the hands of the Japanese government”.
In a brief order, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer denied the emergency request.
US authorities had said they would not hand the men over to Japan while their bid for a stay was pending before Breyer, a lawyer for the Taylors told The Associated Press news agency.
Ghosn was arrested in November 2018 and he spent 130 days in prison before completing an audacious escape that humiliated Japanese justice officials and raised questions about who was involved.
The Taylors are accused of helping Ghosn flee the country in 2019, tucked away in a box on a private jet.
Ghosn was out on bail at the time of the escape and was awaiting trial on allegations that he underreported his income and committed a breach of trust by diverting Nissan money for his personal gain.
The ex-Nissan boss, who has denied any wrongdoing, said he fled because he could not expect a fair trial, was subjected to unfair conditions in detention and was barred from meeting his wife under his bail conditions.
In November 2020, a panel of United Nations human rights experts said Ghosn was wrongly arrested in Japan and urged the government to provide him with “compensation” and “other reparations”.