TOKYO: An American father-son duo accused of helping former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn jump bail and flee Japan admitted their role in the audacious escape in a Tokyo court Monday.
Former special forces operative Michael Taylor, 60, and his son Peter, 28, said they did not dispute the details of the indictment against them laid out by prosecutors in their first court appearance.
Appearing for the first time since they were extradited to Japan from the U.S. earlier this year, Michael Taylor, 60, and Peter Taylor, 28, listened as the prosecutor read out the charges. Asked by the judge whether there was anything wrong with the charges, Michael replied "No, your Honor" while Peter said "No, ma'am."
The duo arrived in handcuffs and Michael appeared frail, his hair thinning and voice raspy. His son appreared stronger and spoke with confidence. Both have spent time in solitary confinement.
The Taylors were brought to Japan in March to face charges related to their involvement in Ghosn's escape in late 2019 from Japan, where he was facing charges of financial misconduct. After smuggling himself in a case for audio equipment and boarding a private jet, the former auto executive made his way to Beirut, where he currently resides.
The pair face a maximum of three years in prison on charges of harboring or enabling the escape of a criminal. They had already served time in the U.S. before being extradited, and it's not clear whether that time will be factored into their sentencing in Japan.
Michael has never denied his involvement in Ghosn's escape, even describing how he executed the operation in interviews in the past, though he had maintained that his son, Peter, had no role in the escape.