American father and son sent to Japan prison for helping Carlos Ghosn escape

·2-min read
Carlos Ghosn (REUTERS)
Carlos Ghosn (REUTERS)

An American father and son have been sentenced to prison in Japan for helping ex-Nisan chairman Carlos Ghosn to escape the country in 2019.

A Tokyo court sentenced Michael Taylor, a US Special Forces veteran, to two years in prison. His son Peter was given a term of one year and eight months.

“This case enabled Ghosn, a defendant of serious crime, to escape overseas,” Hideo Nirei, the chief judge, said. “One year and a half has passed, but there is no prospect of the trial being held.”

The duo were accused of smuggling Mr Ghosn out of Japan to Lebanon in December 2019.

Mr Ghosn managed to make his way past authorities at Kansai airport as he hid in a box which was brought onto a private jet, the court heard.

They were accused of orchestrating the escape and were given £950,000.

Mr Taylor and his son made a tearful apology to the court last month, saying they regretted their role in the escape plot.

Mr Ghosn was first arrested on charges of financial misconduct in November 2018 over allegations he had misused company funds–an allegation he denies–and taken to a detention centre where he was confined to a cell.

He was on bail and awaiting trial when the dramatic escape took place.

He is now an international fugitive in his home of Lebanon, which has no extradition treaty with Japan.

US prosecutors called his escape “one of the most brazen and well-orchestrated escape acts in recent history”.

It comes after Mr Ghosn told the BBC how he escaped Tokyo and made it to Lebanon.

He said: “The plane was scheduled to take off at 11pm. The 30 minutes waiting in the box on the plane, waiting for it to take off, was probably the longest wait I’ve ever experienced in my life.”

In total, he would spend about 90 minutes inside the box, he added.

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