Japan charges Americans with helping Ghosn flee, jump bail

Full Screen
1 / 2

FILEThis Dec. 30, 2019 image from security camera video shows Michael L. Taylor, center, and George-Antoine Zayek at passport control at Istanbul Airport in Turkey. Japanese prosecutors have charged two Americans, Michael Taylor and his son Peter, in connection with the escape of former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn to Lebanon. (DHA via AP, File)

TOKYO – Japanese prosecutors charged two Americans, Michael Taylor and his son Peter, Monday in the escape of former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn to Lebanon, while he was out on bail.

Tokyo District Prosecutors have been questioning the Taylors since they were extradited from the United States earlier this month. They have been detained at a Tokyo detention center since March 2.

Prosecutors said the Taylors were formally charged with helping a criminal escape, although dates and other details of a trial were undecided. The prosecutors sought their extradition for months after they were arrested and detained in the Boston area last May.

Tokyo Deputy Chief Prosecutor Hiroshi Yamamoto said Monday was the last day the Taylors could have been detained without charges under Japanese law.

Now that they have been charged they can continue to be detained. A court will decide whether they will be granted bail.

Yamamoto said prosecutors are requesting continued detention on the grounds the two might flee or conceal evidence. He declined to elaborate on the Taylors' health and other conditions, but said appropriate procedures were being taken.

“We continue to be grateful to the U.S. authorities for their cooperation and hope to proceed with the trial,” he said, referring to the Taylors' extradition.

The Taylors were not immediately available for comment, as is standard in Japan’s criminal system, where more than 99% of those who go on trial are found guilty.