Japanese authorities issued an arrest warrant against the former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn and his alleged accomplices, former U.S Special Forces soldier Michael Taylor, George-Antoine Zayek, and Peter Taylor.
Deputy Chief Prosecutor Takahiro Saito refused to say where the three men who had allegedly helped Ghosn escape could be located.
He said that Michael Taylor and George Zayek were responsible for smuggling him through luggage and getting him into a private jet to leave the country.
He added that Peter Taylor had been responsible for helping Ghosn plan his escape, including giving him a key to his hotel room in Osaka, where Kansai Airport is located.
Prosecutors emphasized that Ghosn had broken the law by leaving the country illegally, violating the conditions of his bail that required him to stay at his Tokyo home.
Carlos Ghosn had stated in his first press conference that he had fled because he could not expect a fair trial, accusing the Japanese Justice system of being “unjust.”
Speaking about the details of his detainment, he said, “I spent 180 days in a solitary cell in prison. There were no windows; I didn’t know my day from my night, and I was only allowed 30 minutes of fresh air a day. I was only allowed to shower twice a week, and I was not given all the medication I needed. I was prohibited from contacting my family.”
He had also maintained his innocence of the charges that were held against him during his time in Japan, which included under-reporting his future income and breach of trust in allegedly diverting profits from Nissan for his personal gain.
He explained that the compensation was never decided or received and that the Nissan payments were for legitimate business.
However, Japanese authorities maintain that their detention and bail conditions were fair. “We want to stress that the act of fleeing was clearly wrong,” Japanese prosecutor Saito told reporters. “We need to erase the misunderstanding.”
Worth mentioning that the maximum sentence for fleeing Japan illegally is 1 year, and the maximum sentence for assisting in helping a criminal hide or escape is 3 years.
The Japanese authorities have raided on Thursday the office of Carlos Ghosn’s previous lawyer, looking for information on people Ghosn had met in that office.
There has been no official statement on whether these new arrests are a result of that raid. One thing for sure, Japan won’t relent until they come to the bottom of Ghosn’s escape.