US judge delays extradition to Carlos Ghosn accomplices to Japan

A judge on Thursday ordered the feds to wait to extradite the American father-son duo accused of helping ex-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn flee Japan last year.

US District Judge Indira Talwani approved a last-minute request from the Americans, Michael and Peter Taylor, to delay the extradition after the State Department told their lawyers Wednesday evening that it had approved their surrender to Japanese authorities, according to a court filing.

The Taylors’ attorneys said they also heard from a news reporter in Japan that the men would be shipped over on a flight scheduled to leave Boston at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Talwani barred the feds from moving the Taylors out of Massachusetts while she considers their motion to block the government from extraditing them altogether.

The State Department declined to comment. But the Taylors’ court filing included a Wednesday letter from department official Karen K. Johnson that said the decision to hand the pair over to Japanese authorities “complies with applicable international obligations as well as domestic statutes and regulations.”

Michael Taylor, an ex-Green Beret, and his son Peter are accused of ferrying Ghosn from Tokyo to Beirut last December in an elaborate plot involving private jets, a bullet train and an audio equipment box in which the former auto executive hid for part of the journey.

Japanese prosecutors allege that the Americans helped Ghosn skip bail while he awaited trial on financial crimes related to his work at Nissan, which Ghosn has denied. Lawyers for the Taylors have argued that it’s not technically a crime in Japan to help someone jump bail, but federal prosecutors have said their alleged conduct does qualify as a Japanese felony.

The Taylors’ attorneys called the flight plans “outrageous,” and US Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, a prominent Republican who has taken interest in the case, wrote on Twitter that he was likewise “outraged” by the decision.

“This former Special Forces member and his son will not be treated fairly,” he said.

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