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Two arrested in US in Ghosn’s Houdini escape

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A father and son suspected of helping fugitive former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn flee Japan in December were arrested in the United States Wednesday and taken to court, where they faced a judge in a rare online appearance.

Michael Taylor, a former US special forces member turned security contractor, and his son Peter Taylor were named in a Japanese arrest warrant seeking their extradition for participating in Ghosn’s dramatic escape.

The two men, ages 59 and 27, appeared in court wearing orange jumpsuits and beige facemasks as a US federal judge in Massachusetts presided via videoconference due to emergency measures during the coronavirus pandemic.

The two pose a flight risk and must remain in detention as the United States awaits a formal extradition request from Japan, prosecutors said.

“Peter Taylor is an exceptionally high flight risk and that fact alone requires his detention,” US attorneys wrote in their unsealed court filing.

The Taylors were arrested early Wednesday in Harvard, Massachusetts, as the son was preparing to travel to Lebanon, where Ghosn fled after sneaking out of Japan.

The United States and Japan have an extradition treaty, but Lebanon and Japan do not.

Japan has yet to file an official extradition request and has 45 days to do so.

The Taylors’ defense attorney Paul Kelly said the case was “not as straightforward as it may seem,” and said there were “other” judicial proceedings in a country other than Japan or the United States. He did not elaborate.

A bail hearing is expected in the coming days or weeks. “The status quo for now will be detention,” Judge Donald Cabell said.

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