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Fmr. Green Beret accuses US of ‘betrayal’ for allowing his extradition to Japan

United States Marshals entering a building. (United States Marshals Service/Released)
February 03, 2021

Michael Taylor, a former U.S. Army Green Beret, says he feels betrayed by the U.S. for allowing him and his son, Peter Taylor, to be extradited to Japan for their alleged role in helping former Nissan Motor Co. Chair Carlos Ghosn flee the country. Taylor alleges Ghosn was being tortured.

“You dedicate your time in the military and you serve in combat and you do a whole bunch of other things,” Taylor told the Associated Press this week. “And now they volunteer to extradite me and my son to Japan for something like this? Yeah, you feel a great sense of betrayal.”

Taylor and his son have been held in a suburban Boston jail since May 2020 while awaiting their extradition. The two were arrested by U.S. Marshals last year after Japan issued warrants for their arrest.

In October, the U.S. State Department agreed to extradite the pair, though their extradition was put on hold as their lawyers filed an emergency petition. Last week, a judge rejected the emergency petition, clearing the way once again for their extradition. Now Taylor and his son are appealing their case to a federal appeals court in Boston.

Ghosn faced trial in Japan on charges of misusing company funds, underreporting $84 million in company earnings, and breach of trust, though he has denied the charges. Ghosn, who was able to escape to Lebanon, has denied any wrongdoing and has said he escaped Japan to avoid the “rigged Japanese justice system.”

Discussing Ghosn’s case Taylor said, “I did some research and checked with legal counsel, found out that jump on bail’s not a crime. It was decided upon that he is being tortured, so let’s stop the torture.”

Taylor allegedly smuggled Ghosn out of the country in a large equipment box typically used to transport music and audio equipment.

“We are being advised, don’t give information on other people who had the idea, so it’s best not to comment on that part. But suffice to say that [Ghosn] is not being tortured anymore. He’s safe and in his home country,” Taylor said

He has also denied his son had any involvement in Ghosn’s escape.

After leaving the Army, Taylor went into private security. He previously rescued a New York Times reporter David Rohde, who was held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan. He has also worked alongside the U.S. government to rescue kidnapped children overseas.

Taylor previously called public attention to his extradition case when he spoke with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo in November. In the interview, he raised concerns about Japan’s torture practices and said he couldn’t believe then-President Donald Trump knew about his case and would allow his extradition to proceed.

Taylor had appealed to the Trump administration, hiring two attorneys with close connections to Trump, including Abe Lowell, who has represented Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Ty Cobb, who was a Trump White House attorney.

The former Green Beret told the Associated Press he is now hoping to gain the attention of President Joe Biden’s new administration.

Taylor has previously served jail time in connection with his private security business. In 2012 he was brought up on allegations he won a U.S. military contract to train Afghan soldiers with secretive contract information passed along by a U.S. officer. After learning his contract was being investigated, he was then accused of calling on a friend in the FBI to intervene in his case. In 2015 he was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison for his role in the bid-rigging scheme.