BOSTON: Lawyers for two men accused of helping former Nissan Motor Co Ltd Chairman Carlos Ghosn flee Japan while awaiting trial on financial charges have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene and delay their extradition.
Lawyers for U.S. Army Special Forces veteran Michael Taylor and his son, Peter Taylor, asked the court on an emergency basis to put on hold a lower court order that cleared the way for them to be handed over to Japan as early as Friday.
The Taylor's lawyers in a late Thursday filing reiterated arguments that their clients could not be prosecuted in Japan for helping someone "bail jump" and that, if extradited, they faced the prospect of relentless interrogations and torture.
The attorneys made the request after a federal appeals court in Boston declined on Thursday to issue an order that would prevent the Taylors' extradition while they appealed lower court rulings. The U.S. State Department approved their extradition in October.
"The very least the U.S. courts owe the petitioners is a full chance to litigate these issues, including exercising their appellate rights, before they are consigned to the fate that awaits them at the hands of the Japanese government," the Taylors' lawyers wrote.
The U.S. Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Taylors were arrested in May at Japan's request after being charged with helping Ghosn flee Japan on Dec. 29, 2019, hidden in a box and on a private jet before reaching his childhood home, Lebanon, which has no extradition treaty with Japan.
Ghosn was awaiting trial on charges that he had engaged in financial wrongdoing, including by understating his compensation in Nissan's financial statements. Ghosn denies wrongdoing.
Prosecutors said the elder Taylor, a 60-year-old private security specialist, and Peter Taylor, 27, received US$1.3 million for their services.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; editing by Jonathan Oatis)