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Carlos Ghosn refuses to extradite a man "who helped him escape Japan"


Former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said the Green Beret, which is accused of helping him escape Japan, should not be extradited as he would face inhuman interrogations there.

Carlos Ghosn said Wednesday he was "shocked" to hear Michael Taylor was about to be sent into the country, adding: "I lived in the US, I lived in Japan.

"And when I saw the differences between the two systems and learned that there was an extradition treaty between the two countries, I was shocked by the differences."

59-year-old Taylor and his son Peter are currently being held in US federal custody pending an extradition request from Japan. There they are charged with Ghosn's brazen escape in December.

Ghosn had been under house arrest in Tokyo, where he was prosecuted for underreporting $ 80 million in revenue, recording personal losses of $ 16 million in corporate books, and using Nissan to secretly fund his lavish lifestyle had started.

Prosecutors say the Taylors facilitated a "brazen" escape in which Ghosn was hidden in a musical equipment box and smuggled onto a private jet into Lebanon in December 2019.

The Taylors were arrested in May for alleged involvement in the escape and are held in a Massachusetts prison. The Japanese government is hoping to prosecute the couple and is seeking their extradition.

The pictured Taylor and his son Peter are currently being held in federal detention pending an extradition request from Japan, where they will be charged with Ghosn's brazen escape in December

Carlos Ghosn [left] said on Wednesday that he was "shocked" when he heard that Michael Taylor [right] could be extradited to Japan. 59-year-old Taylor and his son Peter are currently being held in US federal detention pending an extradition request from Japan. There they are charged with Ghosn's brazen escape in December

The metal instrument cases are said to be used for the escape of the ousted Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn from Japan via Turkey to Lebanon

The metal instrument cases are said to be used for the escape of the ousted Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn from Japan via Turkey to Lebanon

Ghosn spoke to Fox Business on Wednesday where he said Michael Taylor would be "interrogated by a prosecutor in the absence of a lawyer" should he be extradited and unable to access tapes of his interrogation, even though they will exist.

He also said the American had to Sign a document in Japanese at the end of each interview and add, "He must trust that what is written is exactly what he is being translated."

Speaking on an affidavit of the Taylors 'arrest last week, Ghosn said, "I have unfortunately seen the Japanese law enforcement and judicial system, practices and tactics that confirm the Taylors' fears of the possibility of additional charges and pre-trial detention, mental torture and prolong intimidation to compel confession and / or admission of guilt and with no hope of a timely and fair trial. "

Pictured former Green Beret Taylor and his son were arrested in May for alleged involvement in his December 2019 escape and are held in a Massachusetts prison. The Japanese government is hoping to prosecute the couple and is seeking their extradition

Pictured former Green Beret Taylor and his son were arrested in May for alleged involvement in his December 2019 escape and are held in a Massachusetts prison. The Japanese government is hoping to prosecute the couple and is seeking their extradition

Michael Taylor, a former green beret, asked Donald Trump on Wednesday to let him stay in the US. He said, "Ultimately, it is the State Department that makes the final decision, not the courts. And I think only the President can change that."

Taylor Sr. added, “I can't believe for a second that our President of the United States, President Trump, knows about this because I just can't see him sending his veterans and American citizens overseas to be tortured for something to become, that should have never happened and neither is there any precedent. & # 39;

The father and son were temporarily released from extradition last month. Taylor said of his son, "He had nothing to do with it at all."

Ghosn said "the search for the truth is absolutely not Japan's problem," adding, "What matters to them is an additional victory in their 99.4 percent conviction rate, which, as you know, is unmatched in the EU is world. & # 39;

He added, “You are not going to have a quick trial. This is one of the first human rights any citizen has in the world when you have the right to a speedy trial. & # 39;

Michael Taylor is shown in the front, the Lebanese George Antonie Z in the back. They are accused of helping former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn escape from Japan, where he was placed under house arrest. The two men are pictured during their checkpoint process prior to their departure at Istanbul Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, Jan. 16, 2020

Michael Taylor is pictured in front, Lebanese George Antonie Z in the back. They are accused of helping former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn escape from Japan, where he was placed under house arrest. The two men are pictured during their checkpoint process prior to their departure at Istanbul Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, Jan. 16, 2020

Michael Taylor was working as a security service provider in Asia when he came into contact with Ghosn.

Ghosn said he fled because he could not expect a fair trial, faced unfair detention conditions and was not allowed to meet his wife on bail.

His flight went first to Turkey, then to Lebanon, where Ghosn is a citizen. Lebanon does not have an extradition treaty with Japan.

Bank records show Ghosn transferred more than $ 860,000 to a Peter Taylor affiliate in October 2019, prosecutors said in court documents.

Ghosn's son also made cryptocurrency payments totaling around $ 500,000 to Peter Taylor in the first five months of this year, prosecutors said.

Michael Taylor, who was involved in the dramatic escape of former Nissan Motor Co boss Carlos Ghosn, is featured in an independent booking photo from 2012

Michael Taylor, who was involved in the dramatic escape of former Nissan Motor Co boss Carlos Ghosn, is featured in an independent booking photo from 2012

Back in July, Michael minimized his son's involvement in the conspiracy in an interview with Vanity Fair. In the same sit-down interview, he also claimed that he didn't even make money from the bold plan.

Michael told the magazine that he received a call about Ghosn for the first time in the spring of 2019.

A Lebanese middleman Michael had previously worked with said to him, “We have a husband. He is close to us. He is run over in Japan. Is there anything you can help us with? & # 39;

Michael accepted the job and in the months that followed put together a crack team of experts in maritime operations, airport security, IT, police and counter-surveillance. Most of them were former Special Forces operators he'd met in the military.

Michael told Vanity Fair that he called his attorney and other legal experts to ask if supporting a bail in Japan would violate US law and was assured that it was not.

After Taylor initially considered sneaking out by sea to Ghosn, he turned down the plan, noting that it would require crossing 2,600 miles of open water into Thailand before boarding a plane to Lebanon.

The TC-RZA, a private jet that was deployed through Turkey during the flight of the ousted Nissan Chairman Ghosn from Japan to Lebanon, is pictured in an undisclosed location on May 20, 2016

The TC-RZA, a private jet that was deployed through Turkey during the flight of the ousted Nissan Chairman Ghosn from Japan to Lebanon, is pictured in an undisclosed location on May 20, 2016

Born in Brazil, Ghosn also has French and Lebanese citizenship. He knew that he could be sure of protection from extradition in Lebanon, which has a blanket policy of refusing extradition of its own citizens, and where he is considered a national hero.

Ghosn has vehemently denied all charges against him, claiming that his prosecution was motivated by Japanese xenophobia.

Speaking to Vanity Fair, Michael described how he embarked on a plan to extract Ghosn by air. A private charter plane was needed because Ghosn's fame made it impossible to escape through commercial air travel.

The former Green Beret and his team investigated five airports near Tokyo and found one major flaw at Kansai International – the terminal did not have scanners large enough to pick up cargo the size of a box that could hold a human .

Michael and his team created a number of custom subwoofer enclosures, one large enough to hold the 165-pound Ghosn and discreetly drilled air holes in the bottom.

Michael also discovered a critical security flaw that kept Ghosn under house arrest. Although he was monitored at all times by two Nissan-paid plainclothes detectives and three cameras pointing at his door, the cameras were not live feed.

Instead, the cameras recorded locally and the tapes were recorded once a week. The day the tapes were collected varied, but it was always Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. An escape on Thursday could go undetected until next week.

The plot unfolded in late December. Taylor and his team landed in Osaka at 10:30 a.m. on a private plane chartered by a Turkish company that promised not to ask questions.

Ghosn walked out his front door that afternoon, dressed in a hat and surgical mask that were common in Japan even before the pandemic, and went to the Grand Hyatt, where he was often allowed to have lunch.

Investigators allege Ghosn met Michael Taylor in a room at the Hyatt that was booked under the name of Taylor's son. However, Taylor denied this to Vanity Fair, saying he met Ghosn in the lobby.

Former Green Beret Michael Taylor of Harvard, Massachusetts can be seen with his wife and sons in a Facebook photo posted on July 4, 2015 by his wife, Lamia Abboud Taylor

Former Green Beret Michael Taylor of Harvard, Massachusetts can be seen with his wife and sons in a Facebook photo posted on July 4, 2015 by his wife, Lamia Abboud Taylor

Taylor with wife Lamia. Taylor and his son Peter received temporary notice from extradition last month. Taylor said his son had nothing to do with the escape.

Taylor with wife Lamia. Taylor and his son Peter received temporary notice from extradition last month. Taylor said his son had nothing to do with the escape.

Michael, his Lebanese accomplice George Zayek, and Ghosn then took a bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka. Shortly before 10 p.m. Michael told the airport manager that his group was running late and had to rush through security and offer a tip of US $ 10,000 in Japanese yen.

Ghosn, now in a specially made subwoofer box, was transported to the airport just 20 minutes before the scheduled start of the charter flight at 10.30 p.m.

The airport security and baggage handlers had worked all day, and the tired staff never looked at the group or their cargo.

"Nothing was x-rayed, not even our backpacks," Michael recalled.

Michael says after loading the group's luggage, including the box with Ghosn in it, one of the workers gave Michael the envelope with the "tip" he offered to the manager and said it was against airport policy to accept cash gifts .

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn and his wife Carole Ghosn chat during an interview with Reuters on January 14, 2020 in Beirut, Lebanon

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn and his wife Carole Ghosn chat during an interview with Reuters on January 14, 2020 in Beirut, Lebanon

Although the raid was reportedly costing $ 30 million, court documents show about $ 1.3 million in transfers from Ghosn to the Taylors.

Michael told Vanity Fair that spending on the program was approximately $ 1.3 million and that he was making no profit from the company. Ghosn did not offer to pay him. Michael says he did it "de oppresso liber" to free the oppressed, the motto of the Special Forces

"If I had done it for the money," he told the magazine, "that money would have been prepaid."

The Taylors argue that the charges brought against them are fatally flawed because the Japanese Criminal Code does not make it a criminal offense to help someone jump bail unless that person is in custody.