June 29 (UPI) — A father and son on Tuesday apologized to a Japanese court for their roles in helping former Nissan executive Carlos Ghosn in an elaborate escape from justice two years ago related to a financial scandal.
Michael and Peter Taylor expressed remorse for their actions in December 2019, when they helped Ghosn flee.
Michael Taylor, 60, a former Green Beret, and Peter Taylor, 28, answered questions in front of a three-judge panel in Tokyo on Tuesday. Both face three years in prison.
“I deeply regret my actions and sincerely apologize for causing difficulties for the judicial process and for the Japanese people,” Michael Taylor told the court, according to the Wall Street Journal. “I’m sorry.”
“I take full responsibility and deeply apologize,” Peter Taylor said, according to the Financial Times, adding that his godmother is a relative of Ghosn that he was and emotionally connected to the Nissan executive.
Ghosn, who fled from Japan to Lebanon in the escape, argues that he was escaping injustice in Japan’s legal system. He remains free in Lebanon and government officials there have declined to act on an international warrant for Ghosn to be returned.
The United States extradited the Taylors for their roles in the case and they were formally charged by Japanese authorities in March.
Ghosn led Nissan from 1999 to 2017, during which time Japanese officials accused him of financial crimes for underreporting income and receiving other illegal benefits.
To flee, he was smuggled onto a private jet at Japan’s Kansai Airport while hiding in a musical instrument case. Ghosn is a Lebanese citizen.
Japanese prosecutors said the Taylors were paid more than $1 million each for their help.