Crime & Justice

Americans sentenced to prison in Japan for aiding in Ghosn’s escape

Tokyo, Jul 19 (EFE).- Two Americans accused of helping former Nissan president Carlos Ghosn flee from Japan while he was out on bail awaiting trial were found guilty on Monday and sentenced to prison.

The Tokyo District Court sentenced Michael Taylor, a 60-year-old former Green Beret, to two years in prison and his son Peter, 28, to one year and eight months, local news agency Kyodo reported.

The two defendants had pleaded guilty and apologized for their role in the escape of the auto industry mogul and their defense lawyers had requested suspended sentences.

In Japan, those who plead guilty also face trial, but cooperation with the prosecutors can result in reduced or suspended sentences without imprisonment.

According to their indictment, the Taylors helped Ghosn escape from his residence in Tokyo and move to the western Osaka prefecture on Dec. 29, 2019 from where he took a flight out of the country.

The two accused allegedly facilitated Ghosn’s escape with the former Nissan chief hidden in a box on a private jet that circumvented the airport controls.

The private plane took him to Turkey for a stopover even as the court had banned Ghosn from leaving the archipelago under his bail conditions.

The former auto-titan, who has a triple nationality (French, Brazilian and Lebanese), flew from Turkey to Lebanon, which does not have an extradition treaty with Japan.

The businessman has remained in Beirut since then.

The Taylors were arrested in Massachusetts in the United States in May 2020 at the request of the Japanese prosecution office.

They were extradited to Japan in March this year after the US Supreme Court rejected their appeal.

The two have remained in the custody of the Japanese authorities at the same Tokyo detention center, where Ghosn spent more than 100 days before he was set free on bail.

Ghosn was arrested in Tokyo on Nov. 19, 2018, on charges of financial irregularities and breach of trust during his tenure as head of Nissan.

Ghosn was summoned to testify in Lebanon following an Interpol red circular on Japan’s request.

He has denied the charges and claimed he was the victim of a plot orchestrated by the Japanese manufacturer. EFE


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