US citizens Michael Taylor and his son, Peter, who were charged with helping former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn flee Japan while awaiting trial, pleaded guilty at a hearing in Tokyo District Court on Monday, Japanese media reported.
The court began the first hearing in the case earlier in the day. In response to the charges, the Taylors admitted that “there is no mistake,” the Kyodo news agency quoted them as saying.
The two are accused of having helped organize Ghosn’s escape from Tokyo via Turkey to Lebanon at a time when he was under house arrest over financial misconduct back in December 2019. According to the prosecution, they smuggled the ex-Nissan head out of his home in Tokyo in a musical instrument case, while a private jet flew him to Turkey and then to his childhood home in Lebanon.
Ghosn, a Brazilian-born French businessman of Lebanese descent, was arrested in Tokyo in November 2018 on charges of underreporting income during his time as chairman of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. In a bombshell statement made on New Year’s Eve in 2019, he said he was in Lebanon, noting he had fled to escape political persecution.