A US judge has cleared the way for the extradition of an American father and son accused of sneaking ex-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn out of Japan in a box.
The US State Department said in October that it had agreed to hand Michael Taylor, 59, and Peter Taylor, 27, over to Japan but US District Judge Indira Talwani in Massachusetts put their extradition on hold after their lawyers filed an emergency petition.
Ms Talwani wrote in a ruling issued on Thursday that the extradition could move forward.
Lawyers for the men said in court papers that they plan to appeal to the Boston-based federal appeals court.
The lawyers had previously argued that “bail jumping” is not a crime in Japan and, therefore, helping someone evade their bail conditions is not a crime either.
The Taylors were arrested in May in the town of Harvard, Massachusetts.
Authorities say the pair helped sneak Mr Ghosn out of Japan on a private jet with the former Nissan boss hidden in a large box.
The flight went first to Turkey and then Lebanon, where Mr Ghosn has citizenship and which has no extradition treaty with Japan.
Mr Ghosn said he fled because he could not expect a fair trial, was subjected to unfair conditions in detention and was barred from meeting his wife under his bail conditions.
Mr Ghosn has said he is innocent of allegations he under-reported his future income and committed a breach of trust by diverting Nissan money for his personal gain.
He says the compensation was never decided on or received, and that the Nissan payments were for legitimate business purposes.