Crime & Justice

Two Americans admit having helped Ghosn escape from Japan

Tokyo, June 14 (EFE).- An American citizen and his son Monday pleaded guilty of illegally helping Carlos Ghosn, the disgraced former Nissan head, escape from Japan ahead of his trial on financial misconduct charges.

The Japanese news agency Kyodo said Michael Taylor, 60, an ex-Green Beret, and his son Peter, 28, pleaded guilty on the first day of their hearing at the Tokyo District Court.

Citing an unnamed “person familiar with the matter,” the news agency said the two accused admitted to helping Ghosn flee Japan after they were asked by his wife Carole, 54.

Japanese law allows the trial of those who plead guilty.

But helping prosecution could result in reduced or suspending sentencing without imprisonment.

According to their indictment, the Taylors helped Ghosn escape from his residence in Tokyo while on bail.

He moved to Osaka prefecture in the west on Dec.29, 2019, and took a flight to escape Japan.

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 to Lebanon from Turkey

Lebanon does not have an extradition treaty with Japan.

The businessman has remained in Beirut since then.

The Taylors were arrested in Massachusetts (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 remain 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, who was also president of Renault and the Japanese firm Mitsubishi, 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.

Japan has also requested Ghosn’s extradition, even as that seems unlikely because Tokyo and Beirut have no bilateral agreement. EFE


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