Japan indicts two Americans tied to Ghosn’s escape

Written By: Ben Dooley © 2021 The New York Times Company The New York Times
Tokyo Published: Mar 22, 2021, 09:15 PM(IST)

File Photo: Carlos Ghosn. Photograph:( AFP )

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Japanese prosecutors said in an indictment that the two men, Michael Taylor, 60, a former Green Beret, and his son Peter Maxwell Taylor, 27, assisted Ghosn’s efforts to escape the country, helping him flee to Turkey and then on to Lebanon, where he has been beyond the reach of Japanese law

Tokyo prosecutors on Monday charged two Americans with helping Carlos Ghosn, the former Nissan chief, jump bail in Tokyo, where he was awaiting trial on four counts of financial wrongdoing.

Japanese prosecutors said in an indictment that the two men, Michael Taylor, 60, a former Green Beret, and his son Peter Maxwell Taylor, 27, assisted Ghosn’s efforts to escape the country, helping him flee to Turkey and then on to Lebanon, where he has been beyond the reach of Japanese law.

U.S. officials arrested the men in May in Massachusetts. Earlier this month, they were extradited to Japan, where they have been held in a Tokyo detention center while undergoing questioning by prosecutors. A third man believed to have aided Ghosn’s escape remains at large.

Japanese authorities have accused Michael Taylor of helping Ghosn travel by train to the western city of Osaka, through security checks at a private jet terminal and then onto a plane bound for Turkey. Once there, Ghosn transferred to a flight bound for Beirut. Peter Taylor assisted in planning for the escapade, visiting Ghosn several times before the escape, officials say.

Ghosn and his son, Anthony Ghosn, paid more than $1.3 million to the Taylors and a company they controlled, U.S. prosecutors have said in court filings.

Ghosn’s case raised international concerns about what some critics call Japan’s system of “hostage justice,” which includes lengthy detentions of criminal suspects without charge. While in the United States, the Taylors fought a long legal battle to prevent their extradition, with their lawyers arguing that they could be subjected to harsh conditions in a Japanese jail.

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