Father and son admit they helped former Nissan boss flee Japan

TWO Americans charged with helping former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn flee Japan while he was facing accusations of financial misconduct have agreed they took part in a scheme for him to escape the country.

tatements by Michael Taylor and his son, Peter, on the opening day of their trial in Tokyo suggest the pair do not plan to fight charges of assisting a criminal. Keiji Isaji, one of the lawyers for the Taylors, declined to confirm his team was hoping for a suspended sentence if they are convicted, meaning no time would be served. He stressed the decision was up to the judge.

Prosecutors accused  Michael Taylor, a former Green Beret, and Peter Taylor of arranging to hide Mr Ghosn in a box for musical equipment.

It was loaded onto a private jet that flew him from Osaka to Lebanon, where Mr Ghosn has nationality, via Turkey in December 2019.

Ryozo Kitajima, one of the prosecutors, said Peter Taylor met with Mr Ghosn at a hotel several times in 2019 and introduced Mr Ghosn to his father. He said Peter Taylor also received $562,500 (€463,000) in two transfers to pay for chartering the jet and other expenses.

Peter Taylor arranged for Mr Ghosn to change his clothing at a Tokyo hotel. His father and another man, George-Antoine Zayek later accompanied Mr Ghosn to the Osaka airport, Mr Kitajima said.

Mr Zayek has not been arrested. Prosecutors said that during their detention the Taylors had expressed remorse and that the pair had been misled to believe helping someone jump bail was not illegal in Japan. They said Mr Ghosn’s wife Carole told them he was being tortured.

The trial’s next session is set for June 29,

Mr Ghosn says he is innocent and says he fled because he did not expect to get a fair trial. More than 99pc of criminal cases in Japan result in convictions.

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