Defense team appeals Ghosn-linked extradition case to Supreme Court

©Kyodo News

The defense team for two Americans facing extradition to Japan said Friday it has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court following a high court ruling that the two should be turned over on charges of allegedly helping former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn flee the country.

The federal high court in Boston on Thursday upheld a district court ruling in late January that Michael Taylor, a 60-year-old former Green Beret, and his 27-year-old son Peter Taylor should be handed over to Japanese authorities.

Later in the day, the defense team appealed the case to the top court.

The district court ruling came after the State Department approved the extradition of the two men last October at the request of Japanese law enforcement authorities.

The defense team has argued that the men could receive inappropriate treatment amounting to torture if they are sent to Japanese authorities.

According to district court documents, the Taylors allegedly helped Ghosn, arrested by Tokyo prosecutors in 2018 and later released on bail, to escape from Japan in December 2019 by hiding inside a large box.

Ghosn has remained in Lebanon, where he spent his childhood, after fleeing there via Turkey. Japan does not have an extradition treaty with Lebanon.

He has claimed that he was detained for an extended period of time under severe conditions in Japan and fled the country to escape what he called a "rigged" justice system.

Ghosn, who headed Nissan for nearly two decades, was supposed to face trial in Japan on allegations that he misused company funds and understated his remuneration by billions of yen over multiple years.