American who helped Ghosn escape from Japan pleads guilty to auto industry news

A U.S. Army Special Forces veteran and his son pleaded guilty in Tokyo on Monday, accusing them of illegally helping former Nissan Motor Company Chairman Carlos Ghosn escape from Japan.

A U.S. Army Special Forces veteran and his son pleaded guilty in Tokyo, accusing them of illegally helping former Nissan Motor Company Chairman Carlos Ghosn escape Japan in December 2019, hiding in a box on a private jet.

Chief Justice Hideo Nirei, one of the three judges who presided over their first court appearance, asked Michael Taylor and his son Peter on Monday whether there were any errors in the charges submitted by the Tokyo Prosecutor’s Office.

“Without your honor,” the elder Taylor replied. “No,” his son said.

They were extradited from the United States to Japan in March and are currently being held in the same prison in Tokyo where Ghosn was imprisoned. They may face up to three years in prison.

The duo, wearing black jackets and pants, white shirts and plastic slippers, were taken into the courtroom, with ropes passed through handcuffs and tied around their waists.

Prosecutors accused them of helping Ghosn escape punishment and fleeing from Kansai Airport in western Japan to Lebanon. They received $1.3 million for their services, some of which were paid to an advertising company owned by the young Taylor. Prosecutors said that after Japan sought to arrest them, the Americans asked Ghosn to pay another $500,000 in legal fees.

They also described Little Taylor as a frequent visitor in Lebanon and stated that they had planned to escape about six months before Ghosn escaped.

Their statement also stated that Ghosn’s wife Carol asked Michael Taylor for help, and Ghosn later contacted him from Tokyo using a phone number he had concealed from the Japanese authorities.

The prosecutor said that the third man, George-Antoine Zayek (George-Antoine Zayek), went to Japan later in 2019 to find a way through airport security and was in the private jet terminal at Kansai Airport. Settle as the best exit route.

Zayek is still at large.

Baggage that cannot pass through the security scanner will pass manual inspection. However, the pilot can be exempted from this inspection.

The Taylors’ lawyers in the United States fought for months to prevent them from being extradited to Japan, arguing that they would not be prosecuted for helping someone “bail” and that they could face relentless interrogation and torture.

In Japan, suspects are interrogated in the absence of their lawyers and are often refused bail before the trial.

The conviction rate in Japan is 99%.

When Ghosn escaped, he was awaiting trial for under-reporting his salary of 9.3 billion yen ($85 million) in Nissan’s financial statements for 10 years, and he became rich at the expense of his employer by paying auto dealers. .

Ghosn-who has denied any wrongdoing-is still a fugitive from his childhood hometown of Lebanon, which has no extradition treaty with Japan.

Former Nissan executive Greg Kelly, who was responsible for helping Ghosn conceal his income, is also on trial in Tokyo. He denied the charges against him.

The Taylors will appear in court again on June 29. Kelly’s trial room is also in the same room. At that time, their lawyers will issue a statement and the Americans will be cross-examined.

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