A Japanese court on Monday found a father and son from the United States guilty of helping auto executive Carlos Ghosn escape pretrial detention in 2019, news agency Kyodo reported.
The Tokyo District Court sentenced Michael Taylor, 60, to two years in prison, and his son Peter, 28, to 20 months in prison, the agency said.
In June, the two Americans had admitted their roles in Ghosn’s escape before a Tokyo court. They pleaded guilty and apologized. Their defence team has called for suspended sentences, Kyodo reported.
Ghosn, the former chairman of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi carmaking alliance, was arrested in Japan in 2018 on charges of under-reporting his salary and misusing company assets. He was released a few months later into home arrest, but disappeared at the end of 2019 to reappear in Lebanon.
Ghosn has Lebanese citizenship. Lebanon has no extradition treaty with Japan.
Prosecutors say the father and son duo hid Ghosn in a crate which was marked as containing musical instruments during the operation to smuggle him out of Japan in a private plane. They charge that the two knew they were violating Japanese law in doing so.
Ghosn has denied all the initial charges against him and has never commented on how he got to Lebanon.
Japan has been trying to have Ghosn sent back ever since. So far, Lebanon has only blocked Ghosn from travelling abroad. Michael and Peter Taylor, were arrested in the US, which, however, does have an extradition arrangement with Japan.