A Japanese court sentenced two Americans to 24 and 20 months in prison each on Monday for helping ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn… Escape from Japan Where he was pursued on charges of corruption.
A Tokyo court sentenced Michael Taylor, a former US Special Forces soldier, to two years in prison, while his son Peter was sentenced to one year and eight months.
They were accused of orchestrating Ghosn’s escape to Lebanon from Kansai Airport in western Japan in December 2019 and receiving $1.3 million for their services.
Both had earlier pleaded guilty to the charges and said they regretted their actions.
At a hearing about 3 weeks ago, Michael Taylor and his son Peter agreed to prosecutors’ assertions that they helped Ghosn escape the country at the end of 2019. They were extradited to Japan from the US earlier this year and were facing a maximum prison sentence of 3 years. He was charged with harboring a criminal or enabling him to escape.
In the details of the escape plan, Michael Taylor said that he arrived in Japan on December 29, 2019 in order to plan a land escape for Ghosn, and also revealed the existence of an alternative plan to escape by sea.
In response to questions from the Japanese attorney general, Taylor said: “They told me that no charges should have been brought and that paying bail was not a crime.”
Peter Taylor provided more details about his family’s links to Ghosn, who in July 2019 asked him to do some work for him.
The former Nissan boss is now an international fugitive living in his childhood home of Lebanon, which has not entered into an extradition agreement with Japan.
Ghosn was first arrested for financial misconduct in November 2018, and is being held pending trial on charges of financial misconduct, including not fully disclosing his salary in Nissan’s financial statements, and profiting from the company’s account through payments to car dealers.
Ghosn was released on bail while awaiting trial on four charges of financial misconduct, which he denies, and managed to bypass censorship and escape on a private jet.
After arriving in Lebanon, Ghosn said he was “hostage” in Japan, where he was given the choice of dying there or fleeing.
US prosecutors described his escape as “one of the most organized escapes in modern history.”