Posted July 19, 2021 1:18 pm by

Japan court jails US duo over Ghosn escape

Tokyo, Japan, Jul 19 – An American father-son duo who helped former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn flee Japan were sentenced to 20 months and two years in prison by a Tokyo court on Monday.

The sentences are the first to be handed down in Japan in the Nissan saga, which began with former auto tycoon Ghosn’s shock arrest in 2018 on financial misconduct allegations.

Former US special forces operative Michael Taylor was jailed for two years, while his son Peter received a sentence of 20 months.

“This case enabled Ghosn, a defendant of serious crime, to escape overseas,” chief judge Hideo Nirei said.

“Both defendants pulled off an unprecedented escape,” the judge added, noting that there was no prospect of Ghosn — an international fugitive in Lebanon — returning to Japan.

The Taylors, who faced up to three years in prison, did not contest their role in what US prosecutors described as “one of the most brazen and well-orchestrated escape acts in recent history”.

The pair both apologised in previous hearings at which Japanese prosecutors had sought a sentence of two years, 10 months for Michael, and two years, six months for Peter.

Their defence lawyers had argued that a suspended sentence was appropriate given their remorse, and asked that the 10 months they were in US detention before being extradited should be considered in sentencing.

The Taylors arrived in Tokyo in March after losing a battle against extradition.

A Japan court has sentenced an American father-son duo who helped Carlos Ghosn flee to between 20 months and two years in prison © FAMILY HANDOUT/AFP/File

At their first hearing, in June, prosecutors described the almost-cinematic details of the operation — including that Ghosn was hidden in a large case with air holes drilled into it to slip past security at an airport.

Describing the experience recently to the BBC, Ghosn said the half-hour in the box waiting for the plane to take off as “probably the longest wait I’ve ever experienced in my life”.

A third man, identified as George Antoine Zayek, is also accused of involvement in the escape but remains at large.

According to the prosecution, the Ghosn family paid the Taylors more than $860,000 for preparation and logistical costs, and $500,000 in cryptocurrency for lawyers’ fees.

– International fallout-

Japan court jails US duo over Ghosn escape

The escape route of Carlos Ghosn, the ex-CEO of Renault-Nissan, from Read More…