An American father and son pleaded guilty on Monday in Tokyo to illegally helping former Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T) president Carlos Ghosn flee Japan hidden in a box on a private jet in December 2019 .
US Army Special Forces veteran Michael Taylor and his son Peter said no when asked by the judge if there was anything wrong with the charges submitted by the Tokyo prosecutor’s office. This was their first court appearance in this case.
Extradited from the United States to Japan in March, the father and son are being held in the same Tokyo prison where Ghosn was held. They face up to three years in prison.
Prosecutors charged them with helping Ghosn escape punishment and escape to Lebanon from Kansai Airport in western Japan, receiving $ 1.3 million for their services.
US attorneys for the Taylors waged a months-long battle to prevent their extradition to Japan, arguing that they could not be prosecuted for helping someone “jump on bail” and that they risked submission incessant interrogation and torture.
In Japan, suspects are questioned in the absence of their lawyers and are often denied bail before trial.
The conviction rate in Japan is 99%.
At the time of Ghosn’s escape, he was awaiting trial for underestimating his compensation in Nissan’s financial statements by 9.3 billion yen ($ 85 million) over a decade and enriching himself at the expense of his employer through payments to car dealerships.
Ghosn, who denies any wrongdoing, remains a fugitive in his childhood home, which has no extradition treaty with Japan.
Greg Kelly, a former Nissan executive accused of helping Ghosn hide his income, is also on trial in Tokyo. He denies the charges.
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