US: Ex-Nissan boss wired money to man who helped him flee

Nation & World News

FILE – In this Jan. 10, 2020, file photo, former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn speaks to Japanese media during an interview in Beirut, Lebanon. Prosecutors filed documents on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, detailing wire transfers by Ghosn to a company linked to one of the men accused of helping smuggle him out of Japan in a box in 2019. (Meika Fujio/Kyodo News via AP)

Former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn wired more than $860,000 to a company linked to one of the men accused of helping smuggle him out of Japan in a box last year, prosecutors said in a new court filing.

Prosecutors filed documents Tuesday detailing two wire transfers made by Ghosn in October 2019 as evidence they say shows Michael Taylor and Peter Taylor “have the resources with which to flee and therefore should continue to remain detained as flight risks.”

The documents show two wire transfers to the company Promote Fox LLC, which prosecutors say is managed by Peter Taylor.

Michael Taylor, a 59-year-old U.S. Army Special Forces veteran, and his 27-year-old son Peter Taylor are wanted in Japan on allegations that they helped Ghosn flee the country in December while he was out on bail and awaiting trial on financial misconduct allegations.

The Taylors are urging a judge to order their immediate release from jail while they challenge Japan’s extradition request, arguing among other things that their health is in danger behind bars because of the coronavirus pandemic. Their lawyers say the men don’t pose a risk of flight or danger to the community.

The defense says the Taylors were unlawfully arrested and argue they can’t be extradited because “bail jumping” is not a crime in Japan and, therefore, helping someone evade their bail conditions isn’t a crime either.

“Even assuming the Taylors were properly arrested, holding them without bail on a tenuous charge in a jail that has been plagued by COVID-19 violates their Fifth and Eighth Amendment rights. This is especially the case because neither is a risk of flight and there are undoubtedly conditions under which they can be released,” their attorneys told a judge in a filing this week.

Authorities say the Taylors helped sneak Ghosn out of the Japan on a private jet with former Nissan boss tucked away in a large box. The flight went first to Turkey, then to Lebanon, where Ghosn has citizenship but which has no extradition treaty with Japan.

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 said he is innocent of allegations he under-reported his future income and committed a breach of trust by diverting Nissan money for his personal gain.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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