Ghosn leak from Japan: trial of two alleged accomplices to open in June

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Tokyo | The trial of Michael and Peter Taylor, two Americans accused of helping former car boss Carlos Ghosn flee Japan at the end of 2019, will open in June in Tokyo, a spokesperson for the AFP confirmed to AFP on Wednesday. court.

The first hearing in the trial of former Green Beret Michael Taylor and his son Peter is scheduled to be held on June 14 in Tokyo, the spokesperson said. They face up to three years in prison.

With a third accomplice allegedly still on the run, the Lebanese George-Antoine Zayek, the Taylors are accused of having planned and carried out the daring exfiltration of Mr. Ghosn’s Japan, cloistered in Lebanon since.

The former boss of Renault-Nissan was at the time on bail in Tokyo, with the ban on leaving the Japanese archipelago pending his trial for alleged financial embezzlement at Nissan.

He is suspected of having escaped controls at Kansai International Airport, in Osaka (west), by being concealed in a bulky box for audio equipment, before taking off aboard a private jet.

Subject to arrest warrants from Japan, the Taylor father and son were arrested in May 2020 in the United States.

They were handed over to Japanese authorities last month, after exhausting all legal remedies to try to avoid their extradition.

Mr. Ghosn, him, remains out of reach of the Japanese justice, Lebanon, of which he has the nationality, not having an extradition agreement with Japan.

The Lebanese-Franco-Brazilian was arrested in November 2018 in Japan and found himself prosecuted on four counts: two for deferred income not declared to the stock market authorities by Nissan, and two others for aggravated breach of trust.

Mr. Ghosn has always proclaimed his innocence down the line, and denounced a plot fomented by some senior executives of the Japanese car manufacturer to bring him down.

The trial of his former assistant at Nissan, the American Greg Kelly, has been held since last September in Tokyo, concerning the aspect of the controversial deferred payments to Mr. Ghosn. Mr. Kelly also pleads not guilty.