Japan issues arrest warrants for men who smuggled former Nissan chairman out of country
© WikiMedia (Bertel Schmitt)
Japan issues arrest warrants for men who smuggled former Nissan chairman out of country

Japanese officials issued a warrant Thursday for three men suspected of smuggling former Nissan chairman, Carlos Ghosn, from Japan. Among the three suspects is Michael Taylor, a former US Green Beret. These warrants follow after Japan issued a warrant for Ghosn and his wife in early January.

Japan arrested the former Nissan executive in November 2018 for financial crimes including under-reporting his income in the Tokyo Stock Exchange and appropriating company funds for his personal use. A Tokyo District Court denied Ghosn’s request for release in January 2019. Authorities released Ghosn shortly in 2019 before rearresting him in April on additional charges. After a brief release on bail in December, Ghosn fled the country for Lebanon, where holds dual citizenship.

In a January press conference, Ghosn criticized his rearrest and accused Japan of unfair trial tactics:

So—and when the new prosecutor was named about two months ago, and the press in Japan was complaining to the prosecutor why do you forbid Carlos Ghosn to talk to the press? He said, ‘No, no, I’m not forbidding him to talk to the press. He can talk to the press.’ But, at the same time, as he is free to talk to the press, we are free to bring new charges. Which was thinly veiled threat that ‘If you open your mouth, you are going to go back.’ So, we want to end all of this. I want to be able to speak. I want to be able to defend myself. I want to justice system where attack and defense have the same rights, and its balanced and let the truth happen. I was in the system where it’s not about the truth, it’s about winning, it’s about confession, it’s about, ′I think you are guilty, so I’m going to prove you are guilty. I don’t care about the truth. I’m going to select all the things that are favorable to my theory and everything else, I’m going to reject it.

Japan has been working to extradite Ghosn from Lebanon, and Interpol has issued a warrant for Ghosn’s arrest. However, Lebanon has not historically handed over its own nationals to foreign countries, and Japan does not have an extradition treaty with the country.