US Father-son Duo Admit Helping Ex-Nissan Chief Ghosn Flee Japan
Umer Jamshaid 1 month ago Mon 14th June 2021 | 03:00 PM
Tokyo, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 14th Jun, 2021 ) :An American father-son duo admitted to helping orchestrate former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn's audacious escape from Japan as they made their first appearance before a Tokyo court on Monday.
Former special forces operative Michael Taylor and his son Peter were extradited by US authorities over allegations that they and a third man, who remains at large, smuggled Ghosn out of Japan in a music equipment case as he awaited trial.
"Is there any mistake in what the prosecutor just read?" the judge asked each man in turn. Both replied no.
Michael Taylor, 60, was led in first to the courtroom, with his hands cuffed in front of him. He wore plastic slippers, dark trousers and a white shirt with no tie.
His 28-year-old son was brought in after, with both men wearing face masks.
The former auto tycoon was out on bail while awaiting trial on four counts of financial misconduct, which he denies, when he managed to slip past authorities onto a private jet, transit in Turkey and land in Lebanon.
- Black box - In court, prosecutors laid out again the almost cinematic details of the operation -- including that Ghosn was hidden in a large case with air holes drilled into it to slip past security at an airport.
Worried that security guards tailing him could disrupt his escape, he sent his lawyer to police to complain he was being stalked and have the detail reduced, prosecutors added.
Prosecutors said Ghosn and his wife paid the Taylors for their help through an online ad company and directly, with public broadcaster NHK reporting that Peter received 144 million Yen ($1.3 million).
The Asahi Shimbun daily said the pair spent most of the money on preparations for the escape, including the costs of chartering a private jet, claiming that they were not paid for their help.
Ghosn is still in Lebanon, where he was questioned last month by French investigators over a series of alleged financial improprieties.
Among the allegations are improper financial interactions with Renault-Nissan's distributor in Oman, payments by a Dutch subsidiary to consultants and lavish parties organised at the Palace of Versailles.
The questioning took place with his defence team and a Lebanese prosecutor present. Ghosn was heard as a witness as he would need to be in France to be formally indicted.
Others involved in the Ghosn case have faced legal proceedings, including his former aide at Nissan, Greg Kelly, who is also on trial in Tokyo for his alleged role in underreporting the tycoon's income.