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2 Mass. Men Accused In Ex-Nissan Chairman Escape To Be Sent To Japan

BOSTON (CBS/AP) — The U.S. State Department has agreed to turn over to Japan two Massachusetts men accused of smuggling former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn out of the country while he was awaiting trial, the men's lawyers said in legal filing on Thursday.

Lawyers for Peter Taylor and Michael Taylor say the men are set to be flown to Japan from Boston on Thursday. They are urging a judge to block their transfer until they can have had a "full and fair opportunity to receive and review the State Department administrative record, present and support their challenges to the Secretary's decision, and have those challenges heard by the Court in accordance with U.S. law and procedure."

The lawyers said the State Department informed them on Wednesday of its decision to approve Japan's extradition request.

An email seeking comment was sent to the State Department. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston had no comment to WBZ-TV Thursday.

A federal judge in Massachusetts last month issued a ruling approving their extradition requests, although the State Department had the final say.

The Taylors are wanted by Japan so they can be tried on charges that they helped Ghosn flee the country last year with the former Nissan boss tucked away in a box on a private jet. The flight went first to Turkey, then to Lebanon, where Ghosn has citizenship but which has no extradition treaty with Japan.

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

Ghosn 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. Ghosn has denied allegations that he underreported his income and committed a breach of trust by diverting Nissan money for his personal gain.

The Taylors have been locked up in a Massachusetts jail since they were arrested at their home in Harvard in May. Their attorneys never denied the allegations, but argued they can't be extradited because they say their actions don't fit under the law with which Japan is trying to convict them.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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