Japan Ghosn Escape Trial
This Dec 30, 2019, image from security camera video shows Michael Taylor, center, and George-Antoine Zayek at passport control at Istanbul Airport in Turkey. Photo: DHA via AP, File
crime

American father, son get prison terms for helping Ghosn escape

134 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

A Tokyo court handed down prison terms for the American father and son accused of helping Nissan's former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, escape to Lebanon while awaiting trial in Japan.

Michael Taylor was sentenced Monday to two years in prison, while his son Peter was sentenced to one year and eight months.

They were charged with helping a criminal in the December 2019 escape of Ghosn, who hid in a big box that was flown on a private jet via Turkey to Lebanon. Lebanon has no extradition treaty with Japan.

In handing down the sentencing, Chief Judge Hideo Nirei said they had committed a serious violation of the law, as now there is next to no chance of putting Ghosn on trial.

"This case enabled Ghosn, a defendant of a serious crime, to escape overseas," he said.

Although the defense argued the two had been merely used by Ghosn, they clearly were involved, regardless of who was making the decisions, he said.

Ghosn was arrested in Japan in November 2018 on charges of underreporting his compensation and of breach of trust in using Nissan Motor Co money for personal gain. He says he is innocent, and he left because he could not expect a fair trial in Japan.

The Taylors were arrested in Massachusetts in May 2020 and extradited to Japan in March. During their trial they apologized, saying they had been misled by Ghosn about Japan's criminal justice system. Michael Taylor sobbed and said he was "broke," denying they had benefited monetarily because the $1.3 million prosecutors said Ghosn paid them just covered expenses.

But Nirei, the judge, said the court found that the motive was money. The Taylors can appeal within two weeks, he said.

The father and son, both wearing dark suits and flanked by guards, stood before the court in silence.

The Taylors' defense lawyer Keiji Isaji sought a speedy trial. Many Japanese trials last for months, if not years.

The maximum penalty in Japan for helping a criminal is three years in prison. Prosecutors had demanded a sentence of of two years and 10 months for Michael Taylor and two years and six months for his son.

The Taylors' defense had argued for suspended sentences for the two, who spent 10 months in custody in the U.S. before their extradition.

But Nirei said the time they were held before and during trial would not count as time served, saying they were not directly related and should be treated differently. "There is a limit to how much we can consider," he said.

In December 2019, Ghosn left his home in Tokyo and took a bullet train to Osaka. At a hotel there, he hid in a big box supposedly containing audio equipment, that had air holes punched in it so he could breathe, according to prosecutors.

Another man, George-Antoine Zayek, is accused in the escape, but has not been arrested.

Separately, Greg Kelly, a former top Nissan executive, is on trial in Tokyo on charges of falsifying securities reports on Ghosn's compensation. Kelly, arrested at the same time as Ghosn, also says he is innocent.

A verdict in Kelly's trial, which began in September last year, is not expected until next year. More than 99% of Japanese criminal trials result in convictions. Upon conviction, the charges Kelly faces carry the maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison.

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134 Comments
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Quite an ironic turn of events for them, but justice served.

"I fought the law & the law won"

-12 ( +30 / -42 )

They should write a book when they get out! May time fly for the Taylor’s!

26 ( +45 / -19 )

Light compared to what they were expecting, guess singing like canaries paid off for them..........

32 ( +38 / -6 )

Does the sentence include time served in pre sentencing detention? Or does that clock start again?

3 ( +17 / -14 )

No, they can make it a separate case. And I'm sure they will. Or they'll "drop the charge" he's being held on and the current sentence will be under a different tariff. I've seen it happen a few times in the few decades I've been here.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Amazing how quickly the wheels of justice can turn when it suits them. I've seen murder cases take longer and the guilty get less time.

22 ( +40 / -18 )

How quick was that! japanese justice can sure get on it when it’s a foreigner! No doubt Gohsn has a very nice present waiting for these two when they get out. 2 years is nothing for the prize they’re gonna grt. Have a nice trip boys

4 ( +24 / -20 )

But Nirei, the judge, said the court found that the motive was money. The Taylors can appeal within two weeks, he said.

Stupid judge.

-18 ( +12 / -30 )

The judge's comments do not make sense to me. They are punishing them harshly because of the seriousness of another man's crime. Is this the law? Really?

11 ( +34 / -23 )

It's strange that US doesn't protect their citizens as usually.

-2 ( +28 / -30 )

There are clearly 2 standards for justice in Japan: one for Japanese, another for foreigners.

While admitting guilt, bowing, and apologizing will get you a suspended sentence if you are Japanese, it is not the case if you are a foreigner.

Seriously, I think the U.S. State Department needs to protest this. Or at least officially warn Americans about the double standards and dangers of the Japanese justice system.

8 ( +36 / -28 )

i am glad these vile criminals are being sentenced. Japan Law MUST be followed.

-42 ( +20 / -62 )

“You make Japan lose face, Japan makes you lose liberty”.

-1 ( +22 / -23 )

They were charged with helping a criminal

But they didn't help a criminal, because Ghosn hadn't been convicted of anything. They helped a criminal defendant. Big difference.

32 ( +54 / -22 )

They are also the victims of Ghosn's deception.

They have been criticizing Ghosn lately,.

0 ( +17 / -17 )

But Nirei, the judge, said the court found that the motive was money. The Taylors can appeal within two weeks, he said.

What do you expect from a Japanese judge? They're bred from the same stinky and corrupt nest as the prosecutors.

But Nirei said the time they were held before and during trial would not count as time served, saying they were not directly related and should be treated differently. "There is a limit to how much we can consider," he said.

Yeah, that's some logic right there.

7 ( +28 / -21 )

Nickee Today  04:31 pm JST

It's strange that US doesn't protect their citizens as usually.

Protect them from what? From being held accountable for breaking another country's laws while in that country?

When you're in another country, you're subject to that country's laws.

25 ( +35 / -10 )

"Amazing how quickly the wheels of justice can turn when it suits them. I've seen murder cases take longer and the guilty get less time."

Name one.

3 ( +22 / -19 )

No doubt Ghosn has a very nice present waiting for these two when they get out. 

He's probably already given it to them. I'd certainly want it up front if I were the one who'd helped him escape.

I would guess they've already been paid a few million bucks by Ghosn, and the money is sitting in some tax-haven bank account somewhere, just waiting for them when they get out of jail.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

"You make Japan lose face, Japan makes you lose liberty”

When you break the law you lose liberty.

11 ( +24 / -13 )

Fact

The father and son have admitted their guilt.

22 ( +30 / -8 )

This would be a great episode of Banged Up Abroad.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

When you break the law you lose liberty.

Sure. But I just think it’s funny that this is presented as a matter of justice, when it’s just revenge for making the Japanese prosecutors and legal system in general look cretinously inept.

11 ( +29 / -18 )

I sympathize with the defendant who was deceived by Ghosn.

News

-

In the courtroom, the statement of the defendant, a 60-year-old man, was read out: "After I fled, Ghosn said on the plane, 'Now we can hold a press conference,' and I felt that he suddenly became arrogant.

He didn't say a word of thanks to me.

I was persuaded that it was not a crime, so I took the job," the report said.

10 ( +22 / -12 )

Organize the information you have so far.

The parents and son were told by Ghosn that this was not a crime and believed him.

Ghosn never thanked the parents or the children.

The father and son have admitted to all the crimes.

7 ( +18 / -11 )

It’s like the judge is conceding that Ghosn is regarded by the Injustice system as a guilty man without the presumption of innocence, in sentencing these two goodies to prison.

And my taxes are paying to keep these poor guys locked up? Ugh. It makes me feel dirty.

I recommend the recent HBR podcast series about Ghosn.

-5 ( +15 / -20 )

Ghosn fooled them, but they never said a word of thanks.

2 ( +14 / -12 )

The US must hang its head in shame for allowing the extradition of these two men.

0 ( +25 / -25 )

There are clearly 2 standards for justice in Japan: one for Japanese, another for foreigners.

While admitting guilt, bowing, and apologizing will get you a suspended sentence if you are Japanese, it is not the case if you are a foreigner.

They probably did not get a suspended sentence because they did not pay a fine. If this is the case, then we'll done. When foreigners are charged in Japan, Japan expects exorbitant fines / compensation to be paid. Not only sham law, but scam law.

-4 ( +13 / -17 )

Positive aspects are they will learn Japanese, how to be quiet because no talking, and will get a fantastic movie opportunity at a later date.

Always look on the bright side of life. We do.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

How can someone be so smart to help someone escape a country but not go to a country without an extradition treaty with Japan?

11 ( +14 / -3 )

They did it for the money. Period. Do the crime and do the time. His military experience is irrelevant.

17 ( +25 / -8 )

Meanwhile Ghosn gets life time in a failed state, I call this a happy ending

6 ( +20 / -14 )

They knowingly took a risk and broke the law - imprisonment was always a risk and like all criminals, it is a balance or risk/reward. They were pure mercenaries, so this was a professional risk they knowingly took on.

But Nirei said the time they were held before and during trial would not count as time served, saying they were not directly related and should be treated differently

Utterly absurd. The Japanese police can lock you up for absurdly long periods of time if you are innocent or guilty. If you are innocent, you can't recover the time lost, and if guilty, it doesn't even count against your sentence.

6 ( +19 / -13 )

CrickyToday  04:18 pm JST

Does the sentence include time served in pre sentencing detention? Or does that clock start again?

Paragraph 13

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@CrickyToday 04:18 pm JST

No. The reasoning is as follows:

判決は「日本の法令に基づく拘束ではなく、外国に身柄を引き渡すために行われた」として、限定的にしか考慮できないと判断した。

https://digital.asahi.com/articles/ASP7M3HWZP7MUTIL00Z.html

The judgment says that "They were not detained in accordance to Japanese law, but as part of the procedures for extradition" and thus merit only limited consideration.

As far as the merit is concerned, I'll point out that MOST of the Taylors' time in detention is due to them fighting the extradition using defenses that demonstrate their utter lack of repentance. In other words, it is not some inefficiency in the Japanese system, but their own choices. They could have seriously shortened their total time in pre-sentence detention if they had just immediately agreed to be sent over and pleaded guilty immediately rather than shortly before trial.

6 ( +19 / -13 )

The US must hang its head in shame for allowing the extradition of these two men.

The US had to obey the treaty. Just as Canada has to obey the treaty in the Meng case. It is call the rule of law.

12 ( +22 / -10 )

They could have seriously shortened their total time in pre-sentence detention if they had just immediately agreed to be sent over and pleaded guilty immediately rather than shortly before trial.

Yes. Japan Justice System apologists will always find a way to justify the illogical decisions.

In the courtroom, the statement of the defendant, a 60-year-old man, was read out: "After I fled, Ghosn said on the plane, 'Now we can hold a press conference,' and I felt that he suddenly became arrogant.

He didn't say a word of thanks to me.

I was persuaded that it was not a crime, so I took the job," the report said.

That's only for the Tokyo Prosecutors sake. You wouldn't want to aggravate the hand holding your neck. Whoever believes those statements is well...

0 ( +12 / -12 )

Free the Taylors!

-8 ( +12 / -20 )

@justaskingToday 06:19 pm JST

Yes. Japan Justice System apologists will always find a way to justify the illogical decisions.

All right. Why should they get credit? Reasons.

That's only for the Tokyo Prosecutors sake. You wouldn't want to aggravate the hand holding your neck. Whoever believes those statements is well...

Precisely, which is one reason why they did not get a Suspended Sentence.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

But Nirei said the time they were held before and during trial would not count as time served, saying they were not directly related and should be treated differently. "There is a limit to how much we can consider," he said.

Well they were arrested on behalf of Japan so all time spent in the US should be counted as part of time served. I am pretty sure not to would be a breach of the extradition treaty so I guess this is where they will have an opening to appeal the sentence.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

I guess the apology they gave did not work

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Free the Taylors!

Let it go. Not gonna happen

One thing is for sure, the Taylors will be very functional in nihongo after 2 years of only using that language! Ghosn had better be paying them handsomely for this. US $5 million may be a good start once they are released in 2 years.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

How can someone be so smart to help someone escape a country but not go to a country without an extradition treaty with Japan?

Exactly. The Taylors are Lebanese nationals just like Ghosn, so they could have stayed in Lebanon indefinitely. Or perhaps they were happy to do their 2 years, get their wads of cash, and retire in the USA? Maybe a Japanese prison is a piece of cake for these commandos?

4 ( +10 / -6 )

The Taylors are Americans.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

The Taylors are Americans.

Yes, of course. And Lebanese.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

They helped a person to escape in a box. They knew it was wrong and against the law. Somehow they hoped and believed they would not be extradited. Well, they were wrong.

In practice, they got sentences that were close to maximum penalty. It seems to me that the time they were locked up in US was actually taken into consideration.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Innocent until proven guilty religious posters cannot blame the ones who collapse such proving process.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

These two gungho twits deserve everything they get. Whether Ghosn is innocent or guilty is irrelevant.

They broke the law and then bragged about their "caper" to any magazine or TV program that would pay them a few more bucks.

They wanted the fame, attention and the money and now their paying for it. Couple of clowns.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

Maybe a Japanese prison is a piece of cake for these commandos?

These morons are a long way from being commandos.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

@ Seth

Ghosn gets life time in a failed state

I guess it depends on how you define “failed state”. Have you ever been to Lebanon? If crime is a criteria then perhaps you should do some research.

https://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/Lebanon/United-States/Crime

Anyway, it wasn’t their “crime” so much as Japan losing face over the whole deal. This brings to mind a short proverb Japan should remember.

Revenge is but a small circle.”

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Innocent until proven guilty religious posters cannot blame the ones who collapse such proving process.

But if they are charged with helping a "criminal" escape, despite said "criminal" not being convicted yet, doesn't that kind of prove their point?

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

wonder if the money they already made and the money they will make on book/movie deals will be worth it?

didnt see any fines or forfeitures of the payment they got, unless I missed it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Ghosn had better be paying them handsomely for this. US $5 million may be a good start once they are released in 2 years.

Why should he pay them anything?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

This ruling proves that Ghosn, and the Taylors, and G.Kelly are all "guilty until proven guilty"

There's not such a thing as a fair trial in Japan.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Huh. Individuals, defending the two mercenaries as if some heroic gesture was undertaken. Further, glorifying a capitalistic desperado aka Ghosn who is corrupt and a thief.

Ghosn is guilty of numerous crimes, in Japan and Europe. The law is clear and his violation of those laws evident, as in evidence. The two soldiers-of-fortune in the pay of a man seeking to jump bail and flee to a neutral country, with bogus claims of innocence or a supposed fear of a judicial system that has a high conviction rate - as if such indicates a slew of kangaroo courts.

Japan and the USA if measured by the same standards and data, have similar conviction rates. Here's a clue: plea bargaining and a large majority of individuals apprehended committing a crime are guilty. Rare is the innocent person, arrested, jailed, bailed and convicted & sent to prison.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Early this week we had a mother walk FREE after killing her own 4 years girl, then we had a group of lawmakers walk FREE after receiving 1,000,000 yen vote buying bribes, and now we have Mr. Tylor and his son go to jail for helping Mr. Ghosn escape!! what a mess this is.

You just don't get it do you? Taylors had infringed sovereignty. Just 2years? What a merciful verdict.

Those innocent until proven guilty opportunists seem, after all, bunch of racists who wouldn't care less about Japan as a sovereign country. Lucky you not being in China. The door is always open out for you folks.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

As for the rather confused individual asserting that if you commit a crime, in assisting an accused criminal, who has yet to be convicted - that is not a crime because he isn't a criminal until convicted.

Quite an absurdity. And skewed logic. What they did was illegal and in violation of the law. Ghosn was awaiting trial, with very specific circumstances attached to his bail.

Crawling inside of a piano box and being flown out of the country, itself is a criminal act. That violated the terms of bail. Hence, illegal. Assisting in that 'flight from justice', is also a crime.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

@thelonius

The judge's comments do not make sense to me. They are punishing them harshly because of the seriousness of another man's crime. Is this the law? Really?

This is an excellent comment. I agree; the decision doesn't make sense to me either. I've seen some judgements in Japan, and it is hard to understand the judge's reasoning because they often omit it, mentioning any of the specific laws. I wonder, too, what law they broke. Does anyone know? Or is this just the judge's discretion?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Does the sentence include time served in pre sentencing detention? Or does that clock start again?

Just to answer that question, they do get credit for time served in detention.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Wtf did they return to America after the job? Did they not know the US has an extractadition treaty with Japan? If you do a job like this you don't return to your home country. You go to a Stateless country like Lebanon instead.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I don't think Gosn is guilty. I think he was a mediocre boss at best. He wouldn't have spent 20+ years in Japan if he had been offered a position in the US. And Gosn outsmarted the Japanese prosecutors and made them look like the idiots that they are.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Its so disgusting how this justice system works for some and super speedy for others! There have been many other cases where serious crimes, murders, assaults, corruption, bribery and other more dire tish, but the justice system drags their feet on is and it takes so long. But this case? "Let's get revenge because he exposed our failed system to the world!"

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Prosecutors drop indictment against woman arrested over 4-year-old daughter’s death

A perfect example of my comment above.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

If Japan doesn't want to honor the "Innocent until proven guilty" premise, then Japan should leave the UN.

Most Asian countries have a peculiar justice system, just like Japan, and they are doing fine.

Japan should do just fine out of the UN umbrella.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Just as I suspected, a waste of tax payers documents. Once these guys finish their sentences, Goshn will hand over additional money. This does not include the movie rights they will be getting once they finish their sentence. Goshn and the Taylors made out Japan taxpayers are the one's who got robbed. The justice system showed there is two ways in which prosecutors and japans justice system work.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

This sentencing just proves what everyone thinks about Japan. We think Japan Justice System is a joke and here's the proof.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

I really don't feel sorry for them. They choice to help Ghosn. So now take the consequences and also this will impact there international holidays in the future since you need to write down if you have ever been imprisoned for longer than a year for most countries to enter.

Meanwhile Ghosn is laughing because he found two idiots wasting there life for his comfort.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

I would also trade a couple of years in the can for a few million bucks. Lucky guys!

They choice to help Ghosn. So now take the consequences and also this will impact there international holidays in the future since you need to write down if you have ever been imprisoned for longer than a year for most countries to enter.

They can always lie. It's not like every country checks with all the police agencies all around the world for every passenger that enters to see if they have a record.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@thelonius

"While admitting guilt, bowing, and apologizing will get you a suspended sentence if you are Japanese, it is not the case if you are a foreigner."

Not necessarily. It got me one. You just have to know what to do and how to do it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Those insufferably arrogant types staffing the organs of the State in positions of authority are notoriously thin-skinned and vengeful and will invariably lash out with malice aforethought using "justice" as a weapon against anyone who hurts their amour-propre and exposes their empty suits. Since the two Americans were just small-time private operators not committing crimes in the service of the US government they were consequently handed over by the Deep State and left twisting in the wind.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

These 2 admitted they were guilty.

It's called Hostage Justice.

Gosh and Kelly where rearrested multiple times summing up almost 200 days of detention each.

Same would happen to the Taylors.

Once confessed, that confession is the main evidence.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Hakam:

Protect them from what? From being held accountable for breaking another country's laws while in that country?

> When you're in another country, you're subject to that country's laws.

I was sarcastic. Usually US appeal for their jurisdiction even if a US citizen infringe the law in another country. This mean that their citizens remains unpunished.

In Italy happened a lot of times.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Seems the sentencing is reasonable and just to me.

The US won't appeal this. These guys don't represent any US interest.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Seems the sentencing is reasonable and just to me.

The fallacy is that there is no japanese law against harboring defendants out of the country.

They had to reinvent the interpretation of some unrelated law to make it fit.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Some of these comments are just bizarre! Some people seem to think these two morons were innocent.

They commited a crime and they ADMITTED their guilt in court (after also telling the world exactly what crime they had committed thru the media)

Trials really don't take so long when the defendants say "Yes, we did it."

4 ( +9 / -5 )

But they didn't help a criminal, because Ghosn hadn't been convicted of anything. They helped a criminal defendant. Big difference.

A defendant can still be a criminal.

A criminal is a criminal regardless whether they have been convicted or not.

If convicted they are a "convicted criminal" and if not convicted or not even caught or known about then they are just a plain old "criminal".

If Ghosn is escaping the country without the legal authority to do so (no matter what our varied opinions of his innocence or guilt may be) I would imagine that it would be classed as criminal activity.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

A slap on the wrist for such little jail time for such high crimes.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

"The fallacy is that there is no japanese law against harboring defendants out of the country.

They had to reinvent the interpretation of some unrelated law to make it fit."

JT Legal "expertise" acquired on Wiki is certainly more worthy than a Japanese Judge's declaration!

I should have done my Degree right here

Lovely

Btw, what's "harboring defendants out of the country"?

Is this a peculiar JT form of "legalism”?

Thanks for your response.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

How much complaint and regret of the Ghosnbelievers when they see that the accomplices of the infamous criminal are paying for their crime, they should have imposed more prison time for them to reflect ..

How sad they look to support a fleeting criminal just because they don't like a country.. But never forget it, Sooner or later, the big fat rat will fall !!!..

The US must hang its head in shame for allowing the extradition of these two men.

For allowing the extradition of two criminals??, no... Maybe US must hang its head for all the violations against human rights in the whole country..

Biden needs to step up and intervene to free these heroes.

Typical trumpist mentality telling a couple of criminals that they are heroes..

Heroes??.. Heroe Superman !!.. looool !!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Where does it say they came to Japan for the explicit purpose of committing a crime?

They pleaded guilty to going to Japan and smuggling out Ghosn. They went there with that intention.

That's a crime mate.

But it's not surprising that you think Americans should be excused for blatantly ignoring the legal system of another nation.

It's not like they went to a country and killed somebody-I think killing people is a crime in Pakistan--what if the Pakistani government tried to extradite the Navy seals who shot Bun Laden?

No, they just went there to obstruct the legal system of a foreign nation. Your team seems to love obstructing the legal systems of nations, your own included.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

...or maybe because the Taylor's defense team requested a speedy trial?

(it's literally noted right in the very article you are commenting on)

Amazing how quickly the wheels of justice can turn when it suits them.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I've seen you say this before, and I can't figure out WTH you're you talking about? There are no Asian countries that are not members of the U.N. IF I'm wrong and there are in fact Asian countries that are not members of the U.N., I guaren-damn-tee that it is not because they have a "peculiar" justice system.

The thought of Japan withdrawing from the U.N. is so utterly ludicrous I'm not even sure if you are being serious, but if you had even a basic understanding of International Relations, you would know that Japan's withdrawal from the U.N. would be extremely detrimental to the U.N. and international relations on the whole.

If Japan doesn't want to honor the "Innocent until proven guilty" premise, then Japan should leave the UN.

Most Asian countries have a peculiar justice system, just like Japan, and they are doing fine.

Japan should do just fine out of the UN umbrella.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The Taylor’s helped Ghosn escape from being tortured by a system that finds 99% of defendants ….guilty!

The judge should visit a detention center in his own country and look for the truth..,

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

LovelineToday  03:53 am JST

Just when I thought I'd heard it all. I can't believe you are actually comparing the Taylor's helping aiding and abetting a deceiving (according to the Taylors) millionaire to the Navy seals who took out the world's most wanted terrorist. That is such a stretch it is almost insulting. It also completely irrelevant. Pakistan did not seek to charge SEAL Team Six. In fact, the prime minister himself informally claimed Pakistani intelligence shared credit for the mission

So Trump taking out Soleimani was a good thing?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

All his fall guys go to prison while Ghosn is scott free.

This is not fair. It's the police fault for trusting Ghosn to stay home in the first place.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sigh* just fyi, No. Crime is not the only criteria for a failed state. The definition of a failed state has more to with government, not the crime level itself (if that were the case then I'd be living in a failed state).

https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/lebanon-failed-state-when-will-world-step-in

I guess it depends on how you define “failed state”. Have you ever been to Lebanon? If crime is a criteria then perhaps you should do some research.

https://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/Lebanon/United-States/Crime

I'm having trouble trying to make sense of your comment. Are you saying that the Judge's sentence was based on his need to get revenge for embarrassing Japan?

Anyway, it wasn’t their “crime” so much as Japan losing face over the whole deal. This brings to mind a short proverb Japan should remember.

Revenge is but a small circle.”

This whole idea that the Taylor's are innocent victims is funny. A lot of you seem to feel that we Americans should be free to go abroad and act with immunity from the local justice system. It is embarrassing to the rest of us Americans whose entitlement doesn't oblige us to attack another country's legal system meanwhile defending the Taylors, who themselves admitted to breaking the law.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

These two American foreign losers get up to two years for smuggling a theif out of the country while today an American terrorist traitor gets just 8 months in prison for the Jan. 6 incident.

You posters complain about how bad Japanese justice is, but which is worse - accessory to a criminal escape or committing an act of terror and treason? Do the math.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The Taylor’s helped Ghosn escape from being tortured by a system that finds 99% of defendants ….guilty!

The judge should visit a detention center in his own country and look for the truth..,

Agreed. It would seem to me that judges in Japan are either extremely stupid, or just scared (of their bureaucrat masters, the prosecutor). There can be no third possibility.

I would best describe so-called judge Hideo Nireo as an imbecile, and that is being polite.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Two things,

Ghosn is yet to be convicted so the charge of ‘helping a criminal’ seems odd.

Time served has not been taken into account at sentencing, I thought most jurisdictions have this policy.
0 ( +4 / -4 )

Double standard so called Justice, should have hired an EX LDP member as a lawyer.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

There's plenty of videos on YouTube of people running away from prosecutors.

It's legal, and very common, in Japan to jump bail.

The guilty verdict is unfair. Contradicts all the rulings until this day.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

There are clearly 2 standards for justice in Japan: one for Japanese, another for foreigners.

In my 18 years in Japan, I have witnessed multiple times this double standard. It is indeed part of the reason I left, and why I will never live in such a place again. I am human now, no longer Gaijin. It's liberating.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@AustPaul

Two things,

Ghosn is yet to be convicted so the charge of ‘helping a criminal’ seems odd.

You do not need to be convicted to be a criminal. Why is this concept so difficult for people to grasp?

If you drive me to Lawson so I can rob the place, then you are helping a criminal. I'm not convicted either at the time you help me, but I am a criminal.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

If you are a criminal before conviction, Why have a justice system anyway?

Let's just roll a dice to decide how many years you gotta spend in jail.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

foreigner sentenced and sent to prison, so shocking

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I'm sure this sentence will be a walk in the park for them. I'm sure they've been in worse situations during their military career.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sigh just fyi, No. Crime is not the only criteria for a failed state. The definition of a failed state has more to with government, not the crime level itself (if that were the case then I'd be living in a failed state).*

Sigh* just FYI I obviously know the standard criteria used to define a failed state. I agree that Lebanon government is terrible and, though not there yet, is certainly heading toward meeting the definition. My point though is that Ghosn probably has a pretty good life in Lebanon, and certainly safer than some countries (such as the US). Fir the rich Lebanon isn’t a bad place to live.

Also, I never said these two weren’t guilty. They even admitted it themselves. They new what they were doing when they got into it and certainly figured failure into what they charged. However the way this all went down, and the comments made by the judge, certainly ring of revenge. Japan could certainly have handled this better. Starting with the Ghosn farce…

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Sigh* just FYI I obviously know the standard criteria used to define a failed state.

Are you sure? Cuz to be fair, this is what you said in your post:

"I guess it depends on how you define “failed state”. Have you ever been to Lebanon? If crime is a criteria then perhaps you should do some research."

However the way this all went down, and the comments made by the judge, certainly ring of revenge.

What exactly do you figure the judge is supposed to say? The judge's comments about how Ghosn will never stand trial is exactly the result of the crime they are being charged with. I see nothing malicious nor personal to indicate the judgement is based on some sort of personal Japanese vendetta.

Furthermore, if the judge was acting out of spite, why did he not give them maximum sentence?

Judges do not write the laws re: sentencing or credit for time served. They are to apply judgement and interpret the law as it is written (and not the way you or I think it ought to be). If you (and many others) are going to accuse the judge of misconduct then you owe it to his court to provide the legal code that was breached and evidence that his judgement was unfair.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I agree that Lebanon government is terrible

Sorry, I just have to make it clear that I never said Lebanon's government was "terrible."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@therougouJuly 19 08:01 pm JST

But if they are charged with helping a "criminal" escape, despite said "criminal" not being convicted yet, doesn't that kind of prove their point?

Can we at least have some new apologisms? I've explained this many times (so much I stuffed the relevant information into a Google Sheets). This issue has been adjudicated before, and it was decided the word "criminal" does include the suspects and defendants. It is consistent with the real way we use language unless we have some special sympathy for the involved, it's consistent with the goal of protecting the criminal justice process, considering the law's vintage it's consistent with the way it's used in legal instruments.

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1jL0a7SXeqV3sWhh7a1akjqnJZQIkYYPbQ63vTuypifE/edit#slide=id.p

3 ( +3 / -0 )

to accuse the judge of misconduct then you owe it to his court to provide the legal code that was breached and evidence that his judgement was unfair.

The law states that helping a CRIMINAL to escape is a crime.

Ghosn is not a CRIMINAL, it doesn't apply in this case.

Remind you that in law, to use precise words is essential to avoid misinterpretations.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The Lebanese government is the enemy of its people. Corrupt. No electricity for most people. No healthcare. No nothing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@theloniusJuly 19 04:27 pm JST

The judge's comments do not make sense to me. They are punishing them harshly because of the seriousness of another man's crime. Is this the law? Really?

It makes perfect sense to me. The protected interest is the smooth operation of the State's criminal justice process. Do you think you are making the same size dent if you are springing a thief out of prison as if you sprang a murderer? For a more generic point, do you think it's more heinous to spring a murderer out of the prison than a thief? If so, then the "seriousness of another man's crime" CAN be a standard to set the sentence.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@bokudaToday 11:19 am JST

The law states that helping a CRIMINAL to escape is a crime.

As it turns out, they actually have a special phrase to refer to those that are "real" (that is, convicted criminals): 真犯人. So it's more like your Japanese vocabulary isn't large enough :-)

Ghosn is not a CRIMINAL, it doesn't apply in this case.

The jurisprudence has already ruled on this.

Remind you that in law, to use precise words is essential to avoid misinterpretations.

But is this not sufficiently precise? Don't be stupid. You know how humans really use language. No one except one desperate to find a hole would even try the attempted dodge with his own body. And if one does try the dodge, he'll get legal advice, who can tell him the jurisprudence has already ruled on this.

The attempt to be overprecise is why the copyright notice has to use several words that basically all mean "copy" - reproduce, replicate ... etc. It actually reduces the practical readability of the law, and if anything it encourages such 'hole-finding' behavior. If you just write "copy", people might reason it covers "recreate". If you write "copy, reproduce, replicate", people start reasoning that since you've written everything but recreate, you can recreate, and the next copyright notice now has to to write "copy, reproduce, replicate, recreate" but then someone reasons you hadn't written "duplicate".

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki

Lots of bailed citizens are in the run from justice.

It's popular knowledge that they aren't breaking the law because they are not CRIMINALS.

What could happen is that they would hit a prosecutor while trying to escape, then they can be charged with that.

But in no case I've ever heard that any of them was ever charged with that "CRIMINAL escapee" law, because it never applied.

Why does it suit in Ghosn case?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

No one except one desperate to find a hole would even try the attempted dodge with his own body. And if one does try the dodge, he'll get legal advice, who can tell him the jurisprudence has already ruled on this.

Except precedents are not used in rulings and sentencing. Judges can always argue "it doesn't apply" and that's valid.

Do you even hear yourself? You're trying too hard to defend the corrupt system. We all know that the law is largely skewed towards protecting that precious 99.99% conviction rate. What we're saying is it is wrong and needs to change.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Except he wasn't talking about sentencing. He was addressing Bokuda's claim that there was no crime was committed in the first place...at least thats what I think Bokuda is trying to say (I can't make sense of his/her posts)

Except precedents are not used in rulings and sentencing.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@bokudaToday 11:46 am JST

Lots of bailed citizens are in the run from justice. It's popular knowledge that they aren't breaking the law because they are not CRIMINALS.

The level of legal education within the general population is even lower than the level of knowledge in say biology where they at least try to teach you the basics in secondary school. So I'll be very cautious with "popular knowledge" and even more with "popular knowledge" that claims to include the reasoning.

As a conclusion, a bailed citizen himself fleeing from justice indeed does not violate any laws. But the reason is not that they are not "criminals" but because continental (not just Japanese) law doesn't expect very much from criminals - they expect them to be trying to save their own necks from prison. Thus, the law concerning escape is carefully reasoned to protect only the "confinement function" when it could just as easily be the "smooth operation of criminal justice". That's why it is not a criminal act for a bailed citizen to be on the run. While we are at it, the law is also carefully written such that the defendant can openly lie 

Germany goes one step further in this general direction - it's technically not illegal to escape from prison as long as no other laws are violated (it's hard, but it has been done).

However, other citizens, are of course subject to regular expectations, and these include not helping crims.

The other corollary is that criminals are as a rule, not trusted. Something to remember when they are denied bail or you think the judge didn't give weight to their testimony. The logic of the legal system has it as its premise.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

And btw, if you are going to preach to the Japanese about criminal justice reform, maybe you should use a better stage to promote your cause. You are defending a millionaire who was originally charged with committing white collar fraud. And you are doing it in the name of criminal justice reform. Ghosn himself knows this and is manipulating a worthy cause for his own benefit.

Do you even hear yourself? You're trying too hard to defend the corrupt system. We all know that the law is largely skewed towards protecting that precious 99.99% conviction rate. What we're saying is it is wrong and needs to change.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I think its just about right sentence for this type of crime. Not too much, not too little. The lesson for kids here is that sometimes its cheaper, simpler, healthier and faster to admit wrongdoing, get your punishment and move on.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I can’t wait for the day that Ghosn’s name is cleared.

It is hard to imagine a serious court would convict Mr Kelly, who rightly continues to plead innocence.

Even the Japanese know that Nissan collided with the prosecutors and government to ouster the foreigner rather than dealing with internal matters internally.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@N.Knight

Um, Ghosn was yet to be tried for the allegations made, therefore it’s a bit rich to label him a criminal at his stage. If anything he’s an accused person.

That’s not hard to grasp right?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Oh but this is Japan.

Unlike other fallible places on earth, in Japan the prosecutors are very careful and only the guilty are brought to trial.

There are odd cases of innocent people being convicted and having their lives destroyed, but such ideas of human freedom were filtered before being introduced to Japan, and are tolerable in Japan. It is especially tolerable in Japan if foreigners are involved.

There is no Foreigner Lives Matter in Japan, but need not worry since the justice system has been perfected by unscrupulous Japanese people.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki

You write a lot about Japanese law. Perhaps you can tell us how common it is for a Japanese defendant sentenced to a term of two years or under to receive a custodial rather than a suspended sentence.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Could be worse -- could be forced to live in exile in Lebanon...

The money will be waiting for them when they get out.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Speedy trial and sentencing actually to the taylors' advantage.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Um, Ghosn was yet to be tried for the allegations made, therefore it’s a bit rich to label him a criminal at his stage. If anything he’s an accused person.

That’s not hard to grasp right?

Bizarre reasoning.

Once again a trial, a conviction or even a an accusation is not a requirement to be a criminal.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Seriously, I think the U.S. State Department needs to protest this.

The US State Department isn't there to help Americans. It's there to project US imperialism. US citizens in trouble are just a nuisance for them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I see so many comments like “When they get out, they’ll get a fat paycheck from Ghosn”. My question is

Why?

Why on earth do you all think Ghosn is gonna give them a red cent? He paid em $1.3 million for the job. Deal’s done. Why would he throw more money at them, when he was clearly willing to let them twist in the wind for his sake?

“You did the job and got paid. You’re on your own.”

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I see so many comments like “When they get out, they’ll get a fat paycheck from Ghosn”. My question is

Why?

Why on earth do you all think Ghosn is gonna give them a red cent? He paid em $1.3 million for the job. Deal’s done. Why would he throw more money at them, when he was clearly willing to let them twist in the wind for his sake?

“You did the job and got paid. You’re on your own.”

Yes exactly correct. They're getting zilch.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If you are a criminal before conviction, Why have a justice system anyway?

Let's just roll a dice to decide how many years you gotta spend in jail.

Ah, yes... Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

By the way, all of these confused individuals, who are saying it was a forced confession in Japan, are conveniently ignoring the voluntary confession these morons gave on record to Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and various TV stations!

That's when the wheels started falling off the clown car! Ha ha ha!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Austpaul: Ghosn was on bail, By getting in the box is attempting to flee Japan. Which is against his bail conditions. That is a criminal act. Therefore a criminal.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

They did a good thing freeing Ghosn from the hell of the japanese" justice" system. After they leave prison they will make millions from the book/film/speaking engagements. They just have to survive the japanese hellhole.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I do know if they will make millions. Maybe $100 K. The story isn't good exciting of a story has stories go. This happen everywhere and it is always the elites involve. Same old story of the elite not pay for their crimes. If it was a Single mother or a Terrorist escaping from a dictatorship different story.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Any Nissan Japanese execs charged yet? Nah... thought not

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I have no sympathy at all for these two. And the sentences are a joke.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Yet, the ultimate prize will remain elusive forever.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

HakmanJuly 19 04:42 pm JST

Nickee Today  04:31 pm JST

It's strange that US doesn't protect their citizens as usually.

Protect them from what? From being held accountable for breaking another country's laws while in that country?

When you're in another country, you're subject to that country's laws.

25( +34 / -9 )

What dream world do you inhabit? This is the US. The US does not get held accountable for ANYTHING it or its citizens do. At least the connected or privileged ones. The Taylors unfortunately do not appear to be in either of those camps...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Some dudeJuly 19 04:49 pm JST

When you break the law you lose liberty.

Sure. But I just think it’s funny that this is presented as a matter of justice, when it’s just revenge for making the Japanese prosecutors and legal system in general look cretinously inept.

Exactly. Where exactly is this moral high ground "justice" found on matters like Tepco/Fukushima and dozens of similarly egregious incidents in the past in Japan? It's 100% self-serving BS. Sheeple wake up and pay attention.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

They deserve 15 years in prison for being greedy. Stowing away a crook under trial is meddling with matters only because you were going to be paid. He should return that money or confiscate that bad money.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Doesn't matter what your opinion of Japanese justice is, fleeing the criminal justice system is a crime. Albeit for what he thought were justifiable reasons, Ghosn has admitted he fled the country. Aiding and abetting is also a crime. The Taylors crime, or at least their part in Ghosn’s crime was demonstrated to the US’s satisfaction otherwise they would not have been extradited.

The Taylors sentences were well within the tariff for this type of crime. I am concerned by their failure to have time served included in their sentence. The judges comment that the extradition process wasn’t directly related to this case must be factually incorrect. It seems unnecessary to have the Taylors serve their time from day one again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is very unfair.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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