US says Ghosn wired money to man who helped him flee Japan

US says Ghosn wired money to man who helped him flee Japan
US says Ghosn wired money to man who helped him flee Japan

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn at a news conference at the Lebanese Press Syndicate in Beirut, Lebanon January 8, 2020. — Reuters pic

BOSTON, July 8 — Carlos Ghosn, the former Nissan Motor Co chairman, wired US$862,500 (RM3.69 million) last year to a company managed by one of the two men who later helped him escape from Japan, US prosecutors said in court filing yesterday.

The disclosure came less than a day after the men, Michael Taylor and his son Peter Taylor, who are trying to avoid extradition to Japan in connection with Ghosn's escape, petitioned a US judge to release them on bail.

Lawyers for the Taylors said they have been held for more than six weeks at the Norfolk County Correctional Center in Massachusetts, where 36 inmates and staff have tested positive for Covid-19, based on flawed arrest warrants and extradition requests.

“Neither is a risk of flight and there are undoubtedly conditions under which they can be released,” the lawyers wrote.

Ghosn fled last December to Beirut from Japan, where he had been under house arrest on charges of financial crimes he has denied, by being smuggled in a box to a private jet.

Lebanon does not have an extradition treaty with Japan.

Yesterday's filing in Massachusetts federal court shows wire transfers last October of US$540,000 and US$322,500 from a bank account in Paris to Promote Fox LLC, a company managed by Peter Taylor and a brother.

The filing does not say how much the Taylors were paid, but prosecutors said it reflects “additional evidence” that they have the resources to flee, and should remain detained as “flight risks.”

Michael Taylor is a US. Army Special Forces veteran and private security specialist.

In a ruling yesterday, US Magistrate Judge Donald Cabell rejected the Taylors' bid to quash their arrest warrants, with a written order to follow. He has not ruled on their bail requests.

A lawyer for the Taylors declined to comment on the wire transfers. — Reuters

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