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'They Are Clearly Going To Torture Us,' Father, Son Desperate To Stop Extradition To Japan

HARVARD (CBS) - A last minute appeal from Michael and Peter Taylor of Harvard to avoid extradition to Japan has been denied by a judge and they are now begging the U.S. government to step in.

Lamia Taylor's husband and son are sitting in a jail in Dedham, waiting to see if they will be extradited to Japan to face charges for pulling off an elaborate escape. They are accused of smuggling former Nissan executive Carlos Ghosn out of the country in 2019 in a speaker case to avoid money laundering charges.

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According to Taylor's attorney, he executed the plan to conceal Ghosn in a large box used to store music equipment and fly him in a private jet from Japan to Istanbul and then on to Lebanon. (Courtesy photo)

"This is killing me. You have no idea. Having your husband is one thing but having your son is another," Lamia Taylor told WBZ-TV.

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

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The home of Michael and Peter Taylor in Harvard, Massachusetts on May 20, 2020. (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

They claim what they are accused of doing is not illegal in Japan and they should not be handed over because the Japanese judicial system is both unfair and ruthless.

All of their motions have been denied and the latest ruling Thursday means they are now out of options.

"It's our suspicion that we will probably be shipped over there in a matter of days. There is no surprise here what is going to happen. They are clearly going to torture us," Michael Taylor told WBZ in a phone interview from inside the Norfolk County Correctional Center where he and his son Peter have spent the last nine months.

He wants to know why the U.S. would even let this happen.

"You are sending Americans, especially during a worldwide pandemic, over to Japan, where it's known to torture people. Let all the American people know about that. That's what every American should know, that's what your government does to protect you, which is nothing," he said.

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Turkish authorities say Michael Taylor is seen in this surveillance video image taken at the Istanbul Airport. (Image credit: Reuters via CBS News)

Under the treaty with Japan, the U.S. State Department could stop the extradition. But the family says they can't get their attention.

"All we want is for someone to reach the State Department and put a halt on this, to give our lawyers a chance to present it because the former State Department wouldn't even meet with our lawyers," Lamia Taylor told WBZ.

They have appealed to Massachusetts Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey and Congresswoman Lori Trahan for help reaching the Secretary of State.

They say so far no one is listening and the family wants to know why.

"Why aren't you helping constituents? Why aren't you helping American citizens from being extradited for something like this?" Michael asked.

"These are US citizens, we are in the middle of a global pandemic and what's the rush to send them for something like that?" his wife said.

WBZ reached out to Senators Warren and Markey and Congresswoman Trahan and we got no response.

The State Department told WBZ it is a legal issue for the courts, even though it can actually make a decision on this separate from the courts and decide it's not safe to send them back.

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