Japan condemns US father-son duo in Carlos Ghosn’s daring escape


July 19 (UPI) – A Japanese court on Monday found guilty and sentenced two Americans, a father and son, for aiding the much-publicized and elaborate escape from the country of former Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn two years ago.

Ghosn escaped Japan in late December 2019 while on bail awaiting trial for breach of trust, underreporting of his salary and siphoning off payments from the automaker.

The Brazilian businessman, now 67, fled Japan for Lebanon where he holds a passport after being smuggled into a private jet in a case designed for a musical instrument.

Monday, a Tokyo court condemned Michael and Peter Taylor after they pleaded guilty last month of knowingly helping Ghosn flee the country. Michael Taylor, a former Green Beret, was sentenced to two years in prison and Peter Taylor to one year and eight months.

Prosecutors accused the Taylors of being paid more than $ 1 million each to aid in Ghosn’s escape.

The father-son duo were arrested in May last year and extradited to Japan in March.

According to US court documents Citing information provided by the Japanese government, Peter Taylor visited Japan three times between July and December 2019 when he met Ghosn on at least seven occasions.

A day before Ghosn’s escape, Peter Taylor arrived in Japan and checked into the Grand Hyatt Tokyo hotel where he met Ghosn for an hour.

On the day of the escape, Michael Taylor along with a third accomplice, George Antoine Zayek, traveled by private jet from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to Japan where they entered the country posing as musicians in possession of two large boxes, which they left. at the Star Gate Hotel in Kansai.

According to the documents, Ghosn traveled from his home without luggage to the Hyatt where he changed into the clothes young Taylor had left him. Michael Taylor and Zayek then met Peter Taylor at the Hyatt where they were joined by Ghosn.

From there, the young Taylor proceeded to Narita Airport where he boarded a flight to China while the other three men proceeded to the Star Gate Hotel Kansai, where Micheal Taylor and Zayek left with the two. large boxes for the Kansai International Airport where they had originally landed.

Prosecutors said there was no sign that Ghosn ever left the hotel.

“Once at the airport, their luggage went through security without being screened and was loaded into a private jet,” the document says, indicating that Ghosn was in one of the boxes. “The two men boarded a private jet with the bass drums and left for Turkey.”

Two days later in Lebanon, Ghosn announced his flight.

Ghosn has denied the charges against him and said he was fleeing political persecution when he left Japan.

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