Former Nissan chief, Carlos Ghosn has escaped Japan from the house arrest he had been under ever since allegations of mismanagement of the automobile company’s funds came out.
The court handling the fraud case in Tokyo however has jailed an American father and his son for having a hand in Mr Ghosn’s evasion of Justice. Michael and Peter Taylor had been in jail ever since the incident happened in December 2019.
They helped smuggle the disgraced Nissan chief out of Japan to Lebanon where, as a citizen, Mr Carlos will be protected since Lebanon has no extradition laws with Japan.
Michael Taylor, a former US special Force officer pleaded guilty to aiding Mr Ghosn to escape but in his defence, he said he thought they were still rehearsing for a play; that had been his initial statement. Then later after 400 days of being in jail, the narrative changed.
Mr Ghosn’s wife, Carole had come pleading on behalf of her husband, citing failing mental health and with claims that Japan has no law against bailing a person out of jail.
Still trying to downplay their culpability, the Taylors said they were deceived and if they had known it was a crime to bail Mr Ghosn out of prison they would not have allowed empathy to sway them into helping his escape.
Investigations however reveal that the duo planned and hid a disguised Ghosn in a musical instrument box. They then loaded it onto a private jet bound for Turkey. Arriving from Osaka, a plane will wait to transport him to his final destination in Lebanon. The Taylors received payment of about 1.3 million dollars for their help.
Mr Ghosn now resides as a free man in Lebanon.
The court after considering testimonies and a tearful regretful plea for pardon has decided that since Mr Ghosn remains gone, in the eyes of the Japanese authorities, sentencing both Taylors is as close to justice as they will manage to get.
They were thus sentenced to 24 months in jail for the offence.
By Jamila Abdul Wahab Follow on Twitter @activetvgh