Americans Michael Taylor and his son Peter could face jail terms of up to three years after Tokyo prosecutors accused them on Monday of illegally helping former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn flee Japan to Lebanon more than a year ago. .
Michael Taylor – a veteran of the US Army Special Forces – and his son were extradited this month to the Asian country and remain detained in the same Tokyo prison where Ghosn was imprisoned between November 2018 and April 2019.
In a statement, the prosecution of the Japanese capital has stated that the men helped the former Nissan executive to evade his sentence and escape to Lebanon, hiding it in hand luggage aboard a private plane that departed from the Kansai airport, in the western Japan, in December 2019.
“The special investigation unit [de la oficina de la fiscalía de Tokio] asked the Tokyo trial court to prosecute the two defendants, “prosecutors said in a statement. At the moment it is unknown when the trial will begin, which will take place in a country where the conviction rate is 99%.
For his part, Ghosn remains a fugitive in his childhood country, Lebanon, which has no extradition treaty with Japan.
The Taylors were arrested in May 2020 by the US justice following a Japanese arrest warrant. They were then detained in the United States for their “great risk of flight.” Attorneys for the Americans have fought a battle for months to avoid being sent to Japan, arguing that they could not be prosecuted for helping someone skip bail.
In this battle to avoid trial in Japan lay Americans’ slim chances of avoiding prison. Japanese law does not allow suspects to have their lawyers present during questioning of prosecutors. Once charged, the courts often deny bail before trial. The defense of the accused also assures that they face relentless interrogation and torture.
The US State Department rejected the torture allegation as unlikely, and the US Supreme Court cleared the way for his extradition last month.
Japanese prosecutors maintain that Michael Taylor, a 60-year-old private security specialist, and his 28-year-old son received $ 1.3 million for their services.
At the time of his escape, Ghosn was awaiting trial in Japan on charges of financial irregularities, related to malpractice and fraudulent activity, for which the automaker Nissan is demanding 87 million euros from Ghosn.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.