On Tuesday, December 24, Ghosn was granted a one-hour telephone name with Carole. On Christmas Day, Ghosn attended a pretrial listening to. Thursday got here and went. Then, round midnight on Friday, a name got here by way of on the unregistered mobile phone that had been smuggled to him. It was Taylor. He stated merely, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Saturday morning, Taylor arrived at Dubai Worldwide Airport. With him was George Zayek, a former member of the Lebanese militia who marketed himself as an skilled in “struggle, weapons, and hostile lands.” The jet was delayed—the consumer earlier than them was working late—and the Bombardier International Specific didn’t elevate off till 10:16 a.m., 90 minutes delayed, destined for Kansai Worldwide Airport, in Osaka. Taylor’s staff had studied 5 airports close to Tokyo, and Kansai Worldwide had revealed a vital flaw—the terminal didn’t have scanners large enough to accommodate cargo the dimensions of, say, a subwoofer.
Solely one of many two Turkish pilots had been briefed on the mission. Taylor ran by way of the grasp plan all through the flight. “It’s at all times a giant deal when you’re saving somebody’s life, or the way forward for their life,” he says. “However from an operational perspective, this one didn’t get me any extra jacked up than others.”
The jet landed in Osaka at 10:30 a.m. native time on December 29. Taylor knew from his analysis that airport safety could be nearing the top of their lengthy shifts and thus much less alert. The 2 speaker packing containers had been loaded into the again of a ready van, which dropped Taylor and Zayek off on the Star Gate Lodge close to the airport. There, they become hotter garments and boarded a bullet prepare to Tokyo.
On the prepare, Taylor’s telephone started an surprising automated software program replace. “The very first thing I believed was, I’m wondering if the NSA is aware of,” he recollects. “I wouldn’t put something previous them.” The replace meant that Taylor wouldn’t be capable to entry any of the apps he wanted to keep in touch with different members of the staff whereas the mission was below approach.
In the meantime in Tokyo, Ghosn left his home at 2:30 within the afternoon, carrying a toque and the surgical masks that was widespread throughout Asia lengthy earlier than COVID-19. He walked the half mile to the Grand Hyatt. The resort had been chosen for its many egresses, and for the truth that Ghosn frequented it for lunches. Going there wouldn’t be a deviation from his extraordinary routine.
This significant juncture is the place accounts—Taylor’s to me; the prosecutors’ to the courtroom—deviate. In Taylor’s telling, Ghosn stood by a pillar within the foyer close to the exit and waited, as per earlier directions. Earlier than lengthy, a person, Taylor, approached him. They shook fingers. “It’s time to go dwelling,” Taylor informed Ghosn.
However in line with courtroom paperwork that had been filed later in Massachusetts federal courtroom, Ghosn headed upstairs as an alternative. There, in room 933, which had been booked below Taylor’s son Peter’s identify, Ghosn become a brand new set of garments. An hour later, Taylor and Zayek arrived, and the narrative converges once more.
Ghosn, Taylor, and Zayek left the Grand Hyatt and round 4:30 p.m. boarded the high-speed prepare from Tokyo. The vehicles had been packed, with passengers standing within the aisles, and the three males rode in silence. Arriving in Osaka somewhat after eight p.m., they returned to the resort, the place Taylor plugged in his telephone so it might end updating and headed to the airport alone.
Taylor defined to the terminal supervisor that his occasion was working late. They would want to hurry by way of safety, he stated, so they might take off on schedule for an necessary assembly in Istanbul. He handed the supervisor an envelope which contained the equal of $10,000 in Japanese yen. When she insisted that the tip was too giant, he took out half and gave the remainder again. Then Taylor returned to the resort, the place he took the speaker out of the bigger of the 2 packing containers and positioned it within the smaller field to make room for Ghosn, who climbed in. Taylor shut the lid and secured the latch.