Michael Taylor, the 60-year-old former United States Green Beret, apologized to Japan for the orchestration The elaborate escape of Carlos Ghosn to Lebanon, saying he acted out of sympathy for the former Nissan chair after hearing his claims of “psychological torture.”
“I am very sorry for my actions and I sincerely apologize for causing difficulties to the judiciary and to the Japanese people. I am sorry,” Taylor, who had been extradited from the United States, told a Tokyo court on Tuesday.
There was a similar excuse from his son, Peter, who was in court jointly accused of involvement in the subterfuge complex that led to Ghosn being deported from Japan via a bullet train, two hotels, a private jet and a box to move musical equipment. which had been deliberately intended.
“I take full responsibility and apologize a lot,” said Peter Taylor, who said he was drawn to the project because of an emotional connection to the Ghosn family whose godmother is a relative of the former Nissan chair .
Earlier this month, the American father and his 28-year-old son he pleaded guilty during his first appearance before a three-judge panel in Tokyo District Court. He faces up to three years in prison.
Ghosn remains in Lebanon and continues to claim that his bold escape was an attempt to “flee injustice”. The former head of the Renault-Nissan alliance was facing several allegations of poor financial condition, which he denies. Ghosn remains the subject of an international arrest warrant issued by Japan, but on which Lebanon has not yet acted.
Explaining why he decided to help with the escape, Michael Taylor said he “felt sympathy” for Ghosn after the president’s wife, Carole, told him how he had been treated by the Japanese authorities after his arrest in late 2018.
Ghosn’s long period of incarceration and the conditions of bail that prevented him from seeing his wife have sparked some long-standing criticism over the way trials build homes in Japan. But his flight to Lebanon and the testimony of the Taylors also showed how harsh conditions of bail had been broken. Ghosn allegedly communicated by phone and held secret meetings in Tokyo with the couple.
“The torture she described was one of isolation, repeatedly questioned. And they wouldn’t let husband and wife talk to each other,” Michael Taylor said, adding that Ghosn also mentioned “psychological torture” and ” isolation “.
When his lawyer asked if he had any doubts about the torture stories, Michael Taylor said he had never been to Japan at the time and was “shocked when I heard it.”
The extradition of the Taylors from the United States to Japan was carried out under a 40-year treaty between the two countries, but which has historically been rarely used in connection with white-collar crimes. During the Taylors’ extradition process, which the father and son seemed to resist by all legal means, a federal judge described the conditions in Japanese prisons as “deplorable.”
But in court Tuesday, Michael Taylor told prosecutors that, despite the advice of lawyers and legal experts that extradition was unlikely, he would have preferred to be sent immediately to Japan because of “really bad” conditions in the United States during the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.