An American father and son accused of orchestrating Carlos Ghosn’s escape from Japan via a bullet train, private plane and a music box have pleaded guilty in court in Tokyo.
Michael Taylor, 60 years old Former green hatsand his son Peter, 28, were extradited to Japan this year after their 2020 arrest in Boston. They face up to three years in prison.
The two appeared handcuffed before a panel of three judges at the Tokyo District Court on Monday. Prosecutors read a statement detailing a plot to move the former Nissan chair from a large home in central Tokyo to Lebanon after changing planes in Turkey.
escapeWhich involved moving Ghosn between hotels in Tokyo and Osaka before hiding it in a specially modified box and claiming it was party gear, took months of planning.
This included identifying which of Japan’s airports had security vulnerabilities that could be exploited at the crucial moment when the box was transferred to a private plane without examining its human contents.
When the chief justice asked if there was anything wrong with the prosecutor’s statement that he aided Ghosn’s escape, Michael Taylor, who was wearing a mask, dark suit and white shirt, said: “No, your honor.” His son also answered “No” to a similar question.
before taylors Delivery from the United States, their lawyers argued their innocence, claiming that since the act of “bail jumping” was not technically a crime in Japan, the act of helping someone do so could not be.
On Monday, the couple did not dispute the allegations made by prosecutors. But their attorney sought to downplay Peter’s role in the plot, saying his involvement was “just an accomplice of Michael,” even though the father and son gave them the same responsibility in the indictment.
According to the prosecutors’ opening statement, Ghosn had been planning his escape from Japan almost since June 2019 and had asked Michael to coordinate the plan initially through his wife, Carol.
Four months later, Ghosn made $862,500 in wire payments to a company run by Peter to cover private jet fees after multiple secret meetings between the two men in Tokyo. It is alleged that the scheme was eventually carried out with the help of George Zayek, a private security contractor and a Lebanese national also wanted by the Japanese authorities.
The first day of the trial revealed how Ghosn easily bypassed what his wife described as “punitive and inhuman” bail conditions in Japan, where the former president frequently communicated with Taylor via messaging app Signal using a phone contract made by his sister, and held secret meetings in Tokyo at his lawyer’s office According to the plaintiffs.
After Japanese authorities issued an arrest warrant for Al Taylor after the escape, prosecutors said Michael demanded legal fees, and Ghosn transferred about $500,000 worth of bitcoin to Peter’s account via his son’s account. Near the end of Monday’s hearing, Peter is said to have admitted that helping Ghosn was the worst thing he had done in his life.
Greg Kelly, Ghosn’s former deputy, is also on trial in Tokyo, Fighting accusations That he helped the former Nissan chair hide the true size of his salary.