The Taylors will serve time in a Japanese prison.
Back in December of 2019, Carlos Ghosn, former chairman of automotive manufacturer Nissan, had been detained in his home on suspicions of underreporting his income, as well as using company funds for personal reasons. Ghosn had been under confinement for about a year at this point, but suddenly, he vanished from his home in Japan. The next time he was heard from, he had already fled the country and was hiding out in Lebanon. As Lebanon has no extradition treaty with Japan, the Japanese government unfortunately can’t get at him unless he leaves. However, while Ghosn is out of reach, the men who aided in his escape are most certainly not.
Michael Taylor, along with his son Peter, were arrested in Massachusetts in May of last year, and were extradited to Japan to stand before the court in March. While Ghosn was indeed the mastermind behind the escape, and may have fed the duo false information to enlist their aid, that doesn’t change the fact that they did aid him, which is a punishable offense. Today, that punishment was handed down: Michael Taylor will serve two years in a Japanese prison, while his son will serve one year and eight months.
Two Americans who helped ex-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn flee Japan are sentenced to prison https://t.co/t2LXlqPk60
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 19, 2021
The duo’s defense attorney, Keiji Isaji, argued that the two should receive suspended sentences, as they had already served 10 months in holding in the US while they awaited extradition. The Chief Judge, Hideo Nirei, countered that holding time is not the same as time served, and should be treated as a separate matter.
The whereabouts of the third member of Ghosn’s escape crew, George-Antoine Zayek, are still unknown.