On Monday, ex-Green Beret Michael Taylor and his son Peter Taylor plead guilty to assisting ex-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn’s escape from Japan in December 2019. Mr Ghosn was escaping charges of deceiving Nissan investors and financial gain at the company’s expense. Mr Taylor, 60, and his 28-year-old son will face up to three years in prison, with a further trial to be held later this month.
Mr Taylor (the father) reportedly has long experience in international private security and helping escapees. For example, the New York Times states he assisted in freeing one of its reporters from the grips of the Taliban. To plan Ghosn’s escape, he made frequent visits to Ghosn’s mother country of Lebanon throughout 2019 after Ghosn’s wife Carole contacted them for help.
According to reports, Mr Taylor and his son disguised themselves as musicians carrying equipment to smuggle Mr Ghosn through airport security checks. Mr Ghosn, concealed within an audio equipment case, then flew from Tokyo to Lebanon. The former Nissan chairman denies he is guilty and was merely escaping Japan’s supposedly rigged judicial system.
In March, Mr Taylor and his son were sent from the US to Japan to stand trial. The trial came after an extended extradition battle; the pair’s attorneys made a far-fetched claim that Japan’s judicial system could sentence the two to torture. Sources say the pair have been kept in the same Tokyo jail as Mr Ghosn when he was detained.
Mr Ghosn paid the father and son duo $1.3 million for the escape. The two requested a further $500,000 compensation for legal fees to battle in the Japanese court.
In a Wall Street Journal interview on Monday, Mr Ghosn suggested the Taylors’ guilty pleas may have been induced by coercion.
“How can you trust a statement made by a person in a hostage justice system?” said Mr Ghosn.
Greg Kelly, a former Nissan executive, is also facing trial in Tokyo and up to 15 years’ jail time for helping Ghosn hide his earnings. He denies the allegations.
Mr Ghosn remains in Lebanon, which does not have an extradition treaty with Japan.
The New York Post. (June 14, 2021). Ex-Green Beret, son plead guilty to helping Carlos Ghosn escape Japan.