An American father and son duo pleaded guilty Monday to helping Nissan’s former CEO escape Japan in a box on a private jet, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Michael Taylor and son Peter Taylor, along with a third accomplice, George Zayek, organized Carlos Ghosn‘s escape in late 2019. Ghosn was living in Tokyo and had been charged for financial misconduct.
After Ghosn was arrested in November 2018, he sent $862,500 to Peter Taylor to fund his escape, The Wall Street Journal reported. (RELATED: KINGSTON: Former Nissan Chairman Illustrates Japan’s Nightmare Criminal Justice System)
Michael Taylor and George Zayek took a private jet to Japan carrying two large black boxes. After arriving in Tokyo and meeting with Ghosn, they used one of the boxes to hide him aboard the jet. Authorities believe that the accomplices sent Ghosn to Lebanon where he could not be charged for his crimes as the country does not have an extradition treaty with Japan, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The private jet flew to Ghosn to Turkey where he got on another jet that took him to Beirut, according to the Journal. The two pilots and the jet charter company manager were found guilty of people smuggling in Turkey and were sentenced to four years in prison, The Wall Street Journal reported.
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Ghosn argued that he is not guilty of the charges against him and fled Japan because he could not have a fair trial there, The Wall Street Journal reported.
He also said that if the Taylors make a statement in line with the authorities’ perspective of the case, he would view the statement as given under duress, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“How can you trust a statement made by a person in a hostage justice system?” said Ghosn, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Taylors appeared in a Tokyo courtroom in handcuffs Monday where they confirmed the prosecutors’ statements. A second trial is set to take place in late June, The Wall Street Journal reported.