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US arrests two men accused of aiding ex-Nissan boss' escape

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WASHINGTON — A former U.S. Green Beret and his son accused of helping aid former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn flee Japan while awaiting trial on financial misconduct charges were arrested Wednesday, the Justice Department said.

Justice Department spokeswoman Nicole Navas said Michael Taylor, 59, and Peter Taylor, 27, were arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service on Wednesday morning in Harvard, Massachusetts.

The Taylors are wanted by Japan officials on charges that they helped Ghosn escape the country in December after the former Nissan boss was released on bail.

Ghosn reappeared in Lebanon, saying he had fled to avoid “political persecution.”

Ghosn, who was charged with under-reporting his future compensation and breach of trust, has repeatedly asserted his innocence, saying authorities trumped up charges to prevent a possible fuller merger between Nissan Motor Co. and alliance partner Renault SA.

Michael Taylor flew into Japan on a private jet from the United Arab Emirates with another man, George-Antoine Zayek. The two men brought two large black boxes with them, claiming to be musicians carrying audio equipment, according to court papers. They then helped Ghosn escape to the airport by hiding him in one of the boxes, the documents say. Japanese officials had also issued a provisional warrant for Zayek’s arrest.

The Taylors are expected to appear before a judge via videoconference later Wednesday. There were no lawyers listed for them in court documents.

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Richer reported from West Harwich, Massachusetts.

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