TOKYO: An American former Green Beret soldier and his son may be facing up to four years in prison for helping smuggle ex-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn out of Japan in an audio equipment case last December, Nikkei reported quoting legal sources.
At the request of Japan, Michael Taylor, 59, and his son Peter Taylor, 27, were arrested in Massachusetts in the U.S. on Wednesday.
The Japanese arrest warrant said the Taylors were suspected of harboring a criminal and assisting in the illegal departure of a person from the country. Prosecutors in Tokyo were reportedly still working on a formal extradition request at the time.
According to Nikkei, the Taylors had previously sought legal counsel and were aware of the risks of returning to the U.S. instead of living in Lebanon, where they each have close ties.
However, facing life as international fugitives and lockdowns due to the pandemic, the men apparently decided to go to the U.S. anyway. They may now be facing a lengthy legal process and maximum prison sentence of four years.
The U.S. is one of two countries that Japan has an extradition treaty with, which it doesn’t often employ. However, due to widespread resentment in the country over Ghosn and his escape, it seems likely that the Japanese will put a strong effort into the prosecution of the suspects.