US Army Special Forces veteran Michael Taylor has been sentenced to two years imprisonment, while his son Peter is sentenced to one year and eight months for helping former Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. Chairman Carlos Ghosn flee to Lebanon in 2019.
A Tokyo court sentenced a father and son duo in the case related to Carlos Ghosn’s arrest and escape in Japan. US Army Special Forces veteran Michael Taylor has been sentenced to two years imprisonment, while his son Peter Taylor has been sentenced to one year and eight months for helping the former Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. Chairman to flee from Japan to Lebanon in 2019. The Taylors have been given 14 days to appeal the sentence. In his sentencing, Hideo Nirei, the chief judge, said, “This case enabled Ghosn, a defendant of serious crime, to escape overseas. One year and a half has passed, but there is no prospect of the trial being held.”
Nirei further said that the father played a “leading role” in the escape by escorting Ghosn onto the jet. Meanwhile, his son took care of his luggage and also provided him with a hotel room key where he changed clothes. Both men pleaded guilty to the crime and apologised to the court last month. This helped bring down the imprisonment period from three years to under two years.
Accused of financial fraud at Nissan, Carlos Ghosn escaped Japan in a private jet from the Kansai airport at the end of 2019. Prosecutors say that the Taylors were remunerated with $1.3 million for their expenses and payment for their services. They also received an additional $500,000 for legal fees. The two men were arrest in the US in May 2020 for their role in the escape but did not arrive in Japan until March this year.
The Taylors’ lawyers delayed their extradition arguing that they could not be prosecuted for helping someone “bail jump” and that they could face “relentless torture and interrogation.” Meanwhile, A Turkish court convicted MNG Airlines based in Turkey and two of its pilots for their role in Ghosn’s escape plan. The pilots were sentenced to four years and two months in jail.
At present, Ghosn remains in Lebanon at his childhood home. The country does not have an extradition treaty with Japan. He is accused of under-reporting his compensation in Nissan’s financial statements by 9.3 billion Yen or $85 million over a decade. He also enriched himself through payments made to car dealerships in the Middle East. A colleague and former senior Nissan executive Grey Kelly also stands accused of helping Ghosn and is currently on trial in Tokyo.