Japan issues arrest warrants for ex-US soldier, two others for Ghosn escape

Japan issues arrest warrants for ex-US soldier, two others for Ghosn escape
Japan issues arrest warrants for ex-US soldier, two others for Ghosn escape

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

TOKYO, Jan 30 — Japanese authorities today issued arrest warrants for a former US special forces soldier and two other men on suspicion of smuggling former Nissan Motor Co boss Carlos Ghosn out of Japan.

Warrants were issued for former US Green Beret Michael Taylor and two other men, George-Antoine Zayek and Peter Taylor, prosecutors said in a statement. A warrant was also issued for Ghosn for illegally leaving the country, prosecutors said.

Ghosn fled to Lebanon, his childhood home, at the end of last year, while he was awaiting trial on charges of under-reporting earnings, breach of trust and misappropriation of company funds, all of which he denies.

The arrest warrants come days after prosecutors searched the Tokyo office of Ghosn's former lawyer.

Lebanon and Japan have about 40 days to decide whether Ghosn will be extradited to Japan or stand trial in Lebanon, Reuters reported last week.

The two countries have no extradition treaty and Lebanon does not typically hand over its nationals. Ghosn's legal team is hoping to hold the trial in Lebanon, where the former auto executive has deep ties and hopes to clear his name.

Ghosn has struck out at what he has called Japan's unjust judicial system and said the alternative to fleeing would have been to spend the rest of his life languishing in Tokyo without a fair trial. — Reuters

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