TOKYO (AP) — The trial of two Americans accused of helping former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn escape from Japan while out on bail will open June 14, the Tokyo District Court said Wednesday.
Michael Taylor and his son, Peter, are accused of hiding Ghosn in a music box so he could flee to Lebanon in late 2019. The Taylors have been denied bail at the Tokyo Detention Center and not available for comment.
Ghosn, arrested in 2018, was awaiting trial on financial misconduct allegations, including underreporting his compensation and breach of trust in diverting Nissan Motor Co. money for personal gain, when he fled. He said he is innocent.
Japan has no extradition treaty with Lebanon but has one with the U.S., which extradited the Taylors last month after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected their appeal.
Michael Taylor, with the help of another man, George-Antoine Zayek, hid Ghosn in a large box, which passed through airport security in Osaka, central Japan, and was loaded onto a private jet that flew to Turkey, according to Japanese authorities.
Peter Taylor is accused of meeting with Ghosn and helping carry out the escape. The Taylors were paid at least $1.3 million, authorities said.
The Taylors argued in the U.S. courts they did not commit a crime because jumping bail is technically not a crime in Japan.
Tokyo prosecutors have said they are accused of helping a criminal escape and violating immigration regulations. They face up to three years in prison if convicted.