Carlos Ghosn’s escape accomplices sentenced to prison

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Words: Matthew Hansen
21 Jul 2021

The more we hear about former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn’s escape from Japan, the more convinced we are that it would make for an incredible Netflix series.

Two men who aided Ghosn’s Japan escape, father and son Michael and Peter Taylor, have been sentenced to two years in prison and one year and eight months in prison, respectively. Curiously, Micheal is a US Army Special Forces veteran.

“This case enabled Ghosn, a defendant of serious crime, to escape overseas,” chief judge Hideo Nirei said during the trial. “One year and a half has passed, but there is no prospect of the trial being held.”

It’s reported that the Taylors and another accomplice, George-Antoine Zayek, met Ghosn in late December, 2019 to plot a plan. Peter Taylor then left the country while his father and Zayek went forward with loading Ghosn into a large musical instrument case and flew via private jet to Turkey.

While the Taylors have been extradited to Japan as a result of the sentencing, Ghosn remains at large in Beirut, Lebanon, where there is no threat of extradition.

ABC News reports that Michael Taylor explained in court how he hadn’t made any money as a result of the plan. He had been paid US$1.3million, but this only covered expenses he said.

Prosecuters had hoped to pin longer sentences on the father and son combo, initially aiming for more than two years in prison for each American accomplice

Since successfully being smuggled out of Japan, Ghosn has featured in numerous interviews, including one with the BBC where he explained the escape.

“The plane was scheduled to take off at 11pm. The 30 minutes waiting in the box on the plane, waiting for it to take off, was probably the longest wait I've ever experienced in my life,” he said.

“When you get in the box, you don't think about the past, you don't think about the future, you just think about the moment.

“You're not afraid, you don't have any emotion except the huge concentration on 'this is your chance, you can't miss it. If you miss it, you're going to pay with your life, with the life of a hostage in Japan'.”

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