A Criminal court in Tokyo has sentenced father Michael Tayler and his son Peter Taylor to prison for helping former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn escape to Lebanon. The father-son duo were convicted of helping Ghosn escape by hiding him in a box that was flown to Turkey and then to Lebanon which has no extradition treaty with Japan. Ghost was about to start his trial in Japan on corruption charges while at the top of Nissan. Chief Judge Hideo Nirei said during sentencing that Michael and Peter committed a a serious violation of the law because now there was virtually no chance Ghosn will ever stand trial.
Both Michael and Peter said during their trial that they were misled by Ghosn and they were just pawns, but also admitting to their part in Ghosn’s escape from Japan. Nirei said, “This case enabled Ghosn, a defendant of a serious crime, to escape overseas.” The judge also indicated he did not believe Michael or Peter were pawns. While the defense attorney for the Taylors said they had been used by Ghosn, the court said they were clearly involved regardless of who was making the decisions.
Japan’s criminal court system has been criticized for its 99% conviction rate with rights groups both inside Japan and international groups saying there is a bias in Japan that if you are arrested, you must be guilty, and that bias creeps its way into the courtroom.
Ghosn was arrested in Japan in November 2018 on charges of underreporting his compensation and for breach of trust in using Nissan Motor money for person gain. The Taylors were arrested in May 2020 in Massachusetts and extradited to Japan in March of 2021.
Pictured above left to right, Peter Taylor, Michael Taylor, Carlos Ghosn