BOSTON, Aug 28 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Friday expressed
doubt about arguments by two Massachusetts men seeking to avoid
extradition to Japan to face charges they helped former Nissan
Motor Co Chairman Carlos Ghosn flee the country.
U.S. Army Special Forces veteran Michael Taylor and his son,
Peter Taylor, were arrested in May at Japan's request, after
being accused of smuggling Ghosn out of Japan in a box on a
private jet so he could escape to Lebanon.
Ghosn fled in December while awaiting trial on charges of
financial misconduct, including by understating his compensation
in Nissan's financial statements. Ghosn denies wrongdoing.
The Taylors' lawyer, Abbe Lowell, during a virtual hearing
told U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald Cabell in Boston that Japanese
prosecutors put forth a biased interpretation of their laws to
justify bringing flawed charges against the two men.
Lowell said Japan's penal code does not make it a crime to
help someone "bail jump," and that the Taylors could be charged
only if Japanese authorities were already pursuing Ghosn
"To help somebody hide, to use the children's game, there
has to be someone seeking," Lowell said.
But Cabell said he was concerned about letting U.S. courts
usurp the authority of Japan's courts to decide whether the
elder Taylor, a private security specialist, and his son
violated Japanese law.
"It has the potential of keeping this issue from being truly
being fleshed out and truly being considered by the experts who
really would be in the best position to opine on it, which is to
say the judges and the courts in Japan," Cabell said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Hassink urged Cabell to
defer to Japan. Cabell said he would rule within a week.
Should courts agree the Taylors can be extradited, U.S.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would ultimately decide whether
to surrender them.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Leslie