US duo sentenced to jail by Tokyo court for helping Ghosn flee Japan
TOKYO, July 19 (Reuters) – A Tokyo court on Monday handed down the first sentences related to the arrest and escape of Carlos Ghosn from Japan, jailing US Army Special Forces veteran Michael Taylor for two years and his son Peter for a year and eight months to help the former president of Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T) flee to Lebanon.
“This case allowed Ghosn, an accused of serious crimes, to escape abroad,” said Hideo Nirei, the chief justice, while explaining the judgment. “A year and a half has passed, but there is no chance that the trial will take place.”
The pair, who faced up to three years in prison, pleaded guilty and offered a tearful apology in court last month, saying they regretted their role in Ghosn’s exodus from Japan hidden in a box aboard a private jet from Japanese Kansai Airport. end of 2019.
Prosecutors said the Taylors received $ 1.3 million for their services and an additional $ 500,000 for legal fees.
Ghosn remains a fugitive in his childhood home in Lebanon, which has no extradition treaty with Japan.
In Japan, he faces accusations that he underestimated his compensation in Nissan’s financial statements by 9.3 billion yen ($ 85 million) over a decade and got rich at his employer’s expense. by making payments to car dealerships in the Middle East.
Greg Kelly, a former Nissan executive accused of helping Ghosn hide his compensation, is also on trial in Tokyo. Ghosn and Kelly deny the charges.
Reporting by Tim Kelly and Eimi Yamamitsu; Editing by Tom Hogue and Gerry Doyle
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