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Judge Denies Final Appeal Of Father And Son Accused Of Helping Nissan Executive Escape

BOSTON (CBS/AP) – A judge has denied the final appeal by Michael and Peter Taylor fighting extradition to Japan. The Japanese government wants to prosecute the pair for smuggling former Nissan executive Carlos Ghosn out of the country in a box to avoid money laundering charges.

The father and son were arrested in their Harvard, Mass. home in May 2020. Their legal team filed a flurry of motions for months to fight the extradition, arguing the legal merits of the case.

The Taylors argue what they did was not illegal and the Japanese justice system is unfair and ruthless.

WBZ-TV's Kate Merrill spoke with Michael Taylor on Wednesday in an exclusive phone interview from the Norfolk County Corrections Center.

"It's our suspicion that we'll be shipped over there in a matter of days," Taylor said. "There is no surprise what is going to happen here, they are clearly going to torture us."

President Joe Biden or the Secretary of State could stop the extradition, but Taylor's wife said they can't get the attention of anyone at the State Department.

"You are sending Americans during a worldwide pandemic over to Japan where they are known to torture people," Taylor said. "That's what your government does to protect you, which is nothing."

Taylor, a former Green Beret and private security specialist from Massachusetts, and his son are being sought by Japan so they can be tried on allegations that they aided Ghosn's daring escape from the country while he he was out on bail and awaiting trial on financial misconduct charges.

Lawyers for the Taylors say the men cannot be extradited because "bail jumping" is not a crime in Japan and, therefore, helping someone evade their bail conditions isn't a crime, either.

Ghosn's escape came as he was awaiting trial on allegations that he underreported his future income and committed a breach of trust by diverting Nissan Motor Co. money for his personal gain.

Ghosn, who led the Japanese automaker for two decades, rescuing it from near-bankruptcy, denies any wrongdoing. He 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.

He is now in Lebanon, where he has citizenship but which has no extradition treaty with Japan.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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