American father and son escape Ghosn's prison in Japan

Tokyo Court sentenced the father and son of an American accused of helping Carlos Ghosn (the former chairman of Nissan) escape to Lebanon. They are currently awaiting trial in Japan.

American father and son escape Ghosn's prison in Japan

Michael Taylor was sentenced Monday for two years imprisonment, while Peter Taylor was sentenced to one and eight months.

They were accused of helping Ghosn escape in December 2019. He hid in a large box and was then flown via Turkey to Lebanon on a private plane. Japan and Lebanon have no extradition treaty.

Chief Judge Hideo Nirei handed down the sentence. He stated that they had committed a grave violation of the law and there was little chance of Ghosn being tried.

He said that Ghosn, a defendant in a serious crime, was able to flee overseas through this case.

The defense claimed that the two were merely Ghosn's, but he stated that they were clearly involved regardless of who made the decisions.

Ghosn was detained in Japan in November 2018. He was accused of failing to report his compensation and breaching trust by using Nissan Motor Co. money in personal gain. Ghosn claims he is innocent and fled Japan because he couldn't expect a fair trial.

In May 2020, the Taylors were taken into custody in Massachusetts and extradited to Japan. They apologised to Ghosn during their trial, claiming they were misled about Japan's criminal justice systems. Michael Taylor cried and claimed he was broke. The $1.3 million they were paid by Ghosn to cover expenses, prosecutors claimed, meant that they had not benefited monetarily.

Judge Nirei said that the court had found that the motive was money. He said that the Taylors could appeal in two weeks.

Both the father and son, dressed in dark suits and flanked with guards, stood silently before the court.

Keiji Isaji, the defense lawyer for the Taylors, requested a speedy trial. Japanese trials can last months or even years.

Japan's maximum sentence for helping a criminal is three-year imprisonment. Prosecutors demanded that Michael Taylor be sentenced to two years, 10 months in prison and his son two years, six months.

Taylors defense had requested suspended sentences for the Taylors, who were held in U.S. custody for 10 months before being extradited.

Nirei stated that the time they spent together before and during trial wouldn't count as time served. He said they were not related and should be treated differently. He said, "There is a limit on how much we can think about."

Ghosn took a bullet train from Osaka to Tokyo in December 2019. According to prosecutors, Ghosn hid in a large box that allegedly contained audio equipment. He was able to breathe through the holes in the box.

George-Antoine Zayek is another man accused of the escape but has not been charged.

Greg Kelly, a former top Nissan executive is being tried in Tokyo for falsifying securities reports regarding Ghosn's compensation. Kelly was also arrested alongside Ghosn and claims he is innocent.

Kelly's trial began in September 2013 and is expected to end next year. In Japan, more than 99% of criminal trials end in convictions. Kelly faces a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment if convicted.

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