crime

U.S. judge delays extradition of 2 men accused of helping Ghosn escape from Japan

63 Comments
By Nate Raymond

A federal judge on Thursday granted a last-minute request to stop the U.S. government from turning over to Japan two men accused of helping smuggle former Nissan Motor Co Chairman Carlos Ghosn out of the country while he was awaiting trial on financial crimes.

U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani in Boston granted a request by lawyers for U.S. Army Special Forces veteran Michael Taylor and his son, Peter Taylor, to delay the transfer shortly before the two men were set to be placed on a flight to Japan.

The State Department informed them Wednesday it had approved Japan's extradition request. Talwani put on hold their transfer while she reviewed the Taylors' emergency petition challenging that decision.

The department's decision came after the Taylors lost an earlier court challenge to their potential extradition following their arrests in May

In a joint statement, two lawyers for the Taylors, Ty Cobb and Paul Kelly, said they were actively seeking to have the State Department and White House reconsider the decision authorizing the surrender of their clients.

They previously argued their clients could not be extradited because Japanese penal code does not make it a crime to help someone "bail jump."

"It would be a great injustice for these two U.S. citizens to be surrendered to Japan," they said.

The State Department and White House declined comment.

Prosecutors say the Taylors facilitated a "brazen" escape in which Ghosn fled Japan on Dec 29, 2019, hidden in a box and on a private jet before reaching Lebanon, his childhood home, which has no extradition treaty with Japan.

Ghosn was awaiting trial on charges that he engaged in financial wrongdoing, including by understating his compensation in Nissan's financial statements. Ghosn denies wrongdoing.

Bank records show Ghosn wired more than $860,000 to a company linked to Peter Taylor in October 2019, prosecutors said in court documents. Ghosn’s son also made cryptocurrency payments totaling about $500,000 to Peter Taylor in the first five months of this year, prosecutors say.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

63 Comments
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This story isn't Ghosn away anytime soon.

25 ( +32 / -7 )

So what these 'travel agents' did isn't actually illegal? As is the extradition request, then.

Was Japan hoping to keep them in Tokyo Detention Centre until they changed the legislation?

0 ( +27 / -27 )

If it isnt illegal here to do what they did, there really shouldnt be any reason to expedite them.

It's all about the pride of the prosecutors, having lost Ghosn, they want to make someone pay, no matter if there is any legal way or not!

-1 ( +27 / -28 )

Helping someone leave Japan illegally is definitely a crime under Japanese penal code.

12 ( +29 / -17 )

So what these 'travel agents' did isn't actually illegal?

It certainly was illegal and they actually committed multiple crimes under several different Acts of Japanese law including aiding and abetting a crime as it is illegal to help somebody leave the country without using a passport, Smuggling and or Human Trafficking and there are other crimes that can be used as well. I think it is a total of about 3 years in jail and a fine.

10 ( +26 / -16 )

A lot of spin. The WSJ says "Two Americans Can Be Extradited to Japan..." while JT says "U.S. judge delays extradition..."

It's looking more and more like they will appear in Japan, but who knows...

Isn't this something that Suga and the next US president can work out quietly?

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

They will be extradited to Japan sooner or later. Japan asks them and prosecutors may drop charge against them if they brought Ghosn back from Lebanon the same way they did. It seems to me the two Americans are nothing for Japan but Ghosn.

14 ( +20 / -6 )

Are they being charged for harboring a fugitive?

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Helping someone leave Japan illegally is definitely a crime under Japanese penal code.

I don't understand.

It's not a crime to leave a country.

It might be a crime to enter, but not to leave.

-15 ( +10 / -25 )

It might be a crime to enter, but not to leave.

It is a crime to leave Japan without doing the proper paperwork.

19 ( +27 / -8 )

"It's not a crime to leave a country.

It might be a crime to enter, but not to leave."

It is crime to help someone leave the country if said person is on trial or wanted for a crime. Ii legal terms it is called aiding and abetting.

17 ( +27 / -10 )

Fruit of the poisonous tree: If the Ghosn confinement was tainted, any action arising as a result of that tainted action should be immaterial.

-12 ( +9 / -21 )

U.S. judge delays extradition of 2 men accused of helping Ghosn escape from Japan

Good!

-7 ( +21 / -28 )

To the Japanese legal system one foreigner is as good as another. In this case the prosecutors get 2 for 1.

-11 ( +15 / -26 )

@James

It is a crime to leave Japan without doing the proper paperwork.

LOL, LOL!!

-7 ( +14 / -21 )

If there is/was no law on the books that they broke, then the government would be knowingly surrendering them to what amounts to a kangaroo court.

That's not what extradition treaties are for.

-3 ( +19 / -22 )

If there is/was no law on the books that they broke, then the government would be knowingly surrendering them to what amounts to a kangaroo court.

The justice system here is even worse than a kangaroo court. In a kangaroo court, you at least have a trial..

-4 ( +20 / -24 )

A delay for the new petition to be reviewed. And then, it's back to extradition. Don't know how many petitions can be submitted but although that can delay an action it doesn't put it to bed. The Defense argument that it isn't a crime to assist bail jumping in Japan is not one that any Court in the US can address. The defendants would have to appear in a Court in Japan to present that defense. And of they truly believed that defense, they would go to Japan of their own volition and clear themselves of the charges rather than fighting extradition.

12 ( +21 / -9 )

"It would be a great injustice for these two U.S. citizens to be surrendered to Japan," they said.

How great of an injustice can it be? I don't think anybody is seriously saying they didn't do it. So basically they are to be punished for something that is at least undeniably a crime in America.

13 ( +21 / -8 )

Ghosn, is accused of criminal wrongdoing in France, currently under investigation and in the process of being indicted and prosecuted. He engaged in the same illegal dealings in France as in Japan, misuse and illegal transfer of funds. He was skimming off monies in the millions of dollars thru various schemes. The total in Japan and France was approaching 100 million dollars.

His protests about inhumane conditions in Japan are amusing. He was under house arrest, which allowed travel to luxury hotels.

The two soldiers of fortune sleazeballs, helped him escape from Japan, while awaiting trial and engaged in several criminal offenses. Aiding and abetting among others. It is akin to assisting a prison escape.

Ghosn is a despicable individual who was stealing money. In France, he blames Macron, which is absurd. Ghosn is an entitled, wealthy individual who has lived a life of privilege and takes no responsibility for his actions, which were knowingly criminal.

Fruit of the poisonous tree, that's a quaint comment.

7 ( +22 / -15 )

Looks bad to throw the book at these guys, just because they can't lock away Ghosn to save face for their pathetic treatment of his "case".

-5 ( +15 / -20 )

I would consider suicide before I would want to be sent back to Japan like these guys. Indeterminate detention, forced confession, no right to counsel. no right to a speedy trial, have to eat rice every meal. On the other hand, the US has far more people in prison than Japan.

20 ( +26 / -6 )

I hope those guys not Ghosn to be extradited.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

Indeterminate detention, forced confession, no right to counsel. no right to a speedy trial, have to eat rice every meal. 

Other abductees that this 2 heroes freed where in better conditions than Ghosn.

There's no justice in this country.

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

"It would be a great injustice for these two U.S. citizens to be surrendered to Japan," they said."

and D. Trump will back them up 100%

-2 ( +13 / -15 )

Good to hear, soon these criminals will be rotting in prison where they belong. Ghosn on the other hand is stuck in Lebanon forever, the definition of a failed state that is run by an Islamic terrorist group. Yeah, he's gonna suffer enough ROFL

-6 ( +13 / -19 )

Anyway those little rats will pay.. People defending that Ghosn criminal are the same as the trumpybelievers, but sooner or later that big fat criminal rat will fall..

-9 ( +15 / -24 )

They previously argued their clients could not be extradited because Japanese penal code does not make it a crime to help someone "bail jump."

If the above statement is true, what grounds has Japan used to obtain their extradition? Being extremely P’ed off is not grounds for extradition.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

 two men accused of helping [smuggle] former Nissan...

Take a guess at the crime...

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. These 2 crims are done!

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Update, as of 10/30/20:

https://www.yahoo.com/autos/us-approves-extradition-americans-accused-193500792.html

A Federal judge was attempting to block the extradition request from Japan, but on Wednesday, the State Department overruled her, the Taylors' lawyers said.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

baha I bet they thought they were above the law....

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Update, as of 10/30/20:

https://www.yahoo.com/autos/us-approves-extradition-americans-accused-193500792.html

This means that Japanese government has been seriously paying Trump administration to get Ghosn and anyone who helped him into the Japanese grips. They simply can't handle the loss of faces in this case.

Carlos Ghosn once joked at an Arabic interview that if he was an American at the time, he would be free in less than 24h. The difference between this father-son duo and Carlos Ghosn is the wealth. If Ghosn is an American with huge wealth, there is no way that the USA will extradite one of the super "taxpayers" of their own kind.

To me, it seems that the case has become quite political that the Trump administration has an involvement.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

The Taylors got paid $1.36 million. They can afford a good Tokyo law firm. As far as jail conditions in Japan that Carlos was too "above it all" to deal with, these former Special Forces guys should have no problem at all.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Where have the Japanese been these last 75 years? Extraditing Americans, especially those with connections to the military, to stand trial in foreign countries is a fruitless task. Nice try, but they'll just have to keep on shining Uncle Sam's shoes.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

JT needs to update the story headline. State Dept has over ruled the Federal Judge's stay. The Taylors are being extradited.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

"State Dept has over ruled the Federal Judge's stay. The Taylors are being extradited."

Under US Law, the state department can't over rule a judge's stay order. However, they can appeal it. Most likely, the judge will sign off on the extradition.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

They've been charged with only assisting Ghosn to jump bail so that as soon as they land in Japan prosecutors can detain them and add one new charge per 23 day period in order to keep them "for questioning" (lawyer-less interrogation) for as long as it takes to get them to confess to anything the prosecutors want them to.

It seems to me that there must be some way to challenge extradition based on that human rights aspect, but seeing as their lawyers didn't argue that perhaps there simply isn't.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

The US should be happy to get rid of the senior Taylor.

I don't know why his previous criminal record, for defrauding the US military and trying to bribe an FBI agent investigating it, isn't mentioned in every article about him.

From the archives of the Salt Lake Tribune: https://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=57190507&itype=cmsid

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Helping someone leave Japan illegally is definitely a crime under Japanese penal code.

But helping them bail jump is not. Which is what their argument is. So it depends on what they are actually being charged for.

They previously argued their clients could not be extradited because Japanese penal code does not make it a crime to help someone "bail jump."

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Just to clarify the above:

Helping someone jump bail isn’t a crime in Japan, while assisting a person in leaving the country without appropriate procedures is illegal, said Yunhai Wang, a professor of criminal law at Hitotsubashi University graduate school in Tokyo. Nobuo Gohara, a former prosecutor and vocal critic of Japan’s criminal-justice system, concurred, saying there is a chance the Taylors won’t be extradited.

https://www.arabianbusiness.com/transport/447964-helping-ghosn-escape-not-crime-under-japanese-law-says-alleged-accomplice

0 ( +4 / -4 )

No more friends for Carl the Crim, I guess he'll have to fall back on his mates in Hizbullah who he has always worked with. What a shocking disgrace he has become

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

This is the relevant part of the Penal Code

第百三条 罰金以上の刑に当たる罪を犯した者又は拘禁中に逃走した者を蔵匿し、又は隠避させた者は、三年以下の懲役又は三十万円以下の罰金に処する。

This is what Lowell, their lawyer, argued:

Lowell on Friday uttered two separate Japanese words pivotal to the Taylors’ case—”隠避” and “逃走”—which appear in a law that makes it a crime to harbor or help with the escape of a criminal in the country.

Drawing on the analysis of a hired expert—William B. Cleary, a law professor at Hiroshima Shudo University in Hiroshima, Japan—Lowell has argued that the “隠避” is confined to a scenario in which a criminal is being actively pursued by authorities. The term “逃走,” he argued, has a “very specific meaning” that applies to the escape from a place of physical confinement, such as a jail.

https://www.law.com/nationallawjournal/2020/08/28/lost-in-translation-veteran-defender-abbe-lowell-makes-case-at-extradition-hearing/?slreturn=20200930012445

I notice first of all that he has avoided even talking about half the statute, which covers those

罰金以上の刑に当たる罪を犯した者

In case you are wondering, this includes Suspects, something you can find out even in a beginning level textbook and he doesn't touch 蔵匿 at all, either.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

P.S. For anyone who wants to read the genuine legal documents concerning the case, I just found out they are being collated here:

https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17327441/taylor-v-mcdermott/

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Magnates and mercenaries.

Lock them up.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If I couldn't get Ghosn I'd let the two go.. I'd sing that song, 'Let it go, let it go.... Then I'd consider recruiting the two for the Chinese invasion.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It's not looking good for the Taylors.

They'll certainly get convicted for a couple years.

It feels soo bad, they are real live heroes.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I guess there's no escape from the injustice system in Japan.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Knowing Tokyo prosecutors, they will just find a way to detain these two. If all else fail, they can always charge them with "public nuisance" or "breach of trust".

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I’m in the minority here (and that’s ok) and on this issue I respect the opinions of those who disagree (my wife has told me several times how wrong I am...), but I don’t think that Carlos was going to get a fair trial and the prosecution would have stopped at nothing to break him.

Clearly Nissan wanted him gone and (nod nod, wink wink) “cooperated with the prosecutor. If I were him and had his money, I’d do a runner too.

That said, these guys seem pretty foolish to think they could waltz on back to the States using their real IDs and not think it’d catch up to them.

They could have asked at least triple the price and retired in a country without an extradition treaty....

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"The State Department and White House declined comment."

woe woe..... woe

0 ( +1 / -1 )

OssanAmerica nobody in their right mind would come to Japan and expect a fair trial. Sad but true.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I wonder when the question of "Will they get a fair trial in Japan will be raised"? One would think the US Justice system will be asked to look at this.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They should not be extradited. Justice in Japan is unfair, biased, Corporate influenced, subject to Political intervention, and is based upon Guilt before being proven innocent. These nobodies haven't a chance in hell if they get extradited here.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Another thing to consider... Carlos Ghosn has not been convicted lawfully of any Crime. Instead he has been detained by the Japanese Criminal System indefinitely.

So helping a "Convict" to escape does not apply here...

Voluntary attendance could be requested of these men but forcefully deporting them to Japan would suggest a Political tit for tat agreement in the making

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Isn't this something that Suga and the next US president can work out quietly?

Nope. In the US, judges do not answer to the Legislative or Executive branches. They're independent and guard that independence jealously. This is why Federal judgeships are lifetime appointments, so they cannot be leaned on by politicians.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have personally experienced Interrogation by the Japanese Police... it is a quite like those Wartime Movies where you see someone being interrogated by the Gestapo.

Their aim is to disprove your innocence, regardless whether or not you were clearly the Victim. And they do their best to try to make you be inconsistent or raise doubts over your statement... which itself, may not be taken down clearly.

Never Sign anything with the Police, unless you have a Lawyer, and a decent translator present.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

"On some websites in the US they say if they are extradited, groups like the proud boys, etc. will destroy Japan's economy from America by boycotting all Japanese products exported to America etc. They are already "guarding the voting places, and anticipate civil war 2.0. The Taylors are "connected" like you could not believe Japan.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Their is no legal basis for these guys, not to be sent back to Japan, if they commited a crime in another state, they would be sent back to the state

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is unacceptable.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Isn't this something that Suga and the next US president can work out quietly?

no. There are rules to the treaty. Leaders of a country should let the process work d not become involved. Foret wat Trump has done. That s abuse of power and something I'd expect from Xi. Tit-for-tat foregn policy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"On some websites in the US they say if they are extradited, groups like the proud boys, etc. will destroy Japan's economy from America by boycotting all Japanese products exported to America etc. They are already "guarding the voting places, and anticipate civil war 2.0. The Taylors are "connected" like you could not believe Japan

So they'll buy Chinese made goods instead? Proud boys indeed!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Proud boys indeed", the far right, neo-fascist, kkk) are all irrational dangerous white supremacist groups.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proud_Boys

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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