US citizens, father and son, pleaded guilty on Monday to charges that they illegally helped ex-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn leave Japan by hiding him in a box on board a private jet in December 2019.
US Army Special Forces veteran Michael Taylor and his son Peter responded negatively when a judge asked them if there was anything wrong with the charges brought by the Tokyo prosecutor’s office. This was their first appearance in court in the case.
The father and son, extradited to Japan from the United States in March, are being held in the same prison in Tokyo where Carlos Ghosn was detained. They face up to three years in prison.
The prosecutor’s office accused them of helping Gong escape punishment and escape to Lebanon from Kansai Airport in western Japan, receiving $ 1.3 million for their services.
American lawyers for the Taylors have fought for months to prevent their extradition to Japan, arguing that they cannot be prosecuted for helping someone and that they could face ruthless interrogation and torture.
Japanese suspects are interrogated in the absence of lawyers and are often denied bail pending trial.
The conviction rate in Japan is 99%.