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SECURITY > Okinawa

Kadena base worker’s petition asking for trial in Tokyo causes stir

  • July 8, 2016
  • , Yomiuri , p.29
  • summary

Regarding a petition filed with the Naha District Court by the Kadena AB civilian employee indicted in connection with the death of a local woman requesting that his case be moved to Tokyo, Yomiuri reported that judicial authorities and the victim’s family are troubled and upset by the request. The defendant filed the petition on account of the “prejudice” that he claims citizen judges in Okinawa would have against him. An unidentified veteran judge projected that the petition will be dismissed as it is difficult to conclude that all the citizen judges would be “incapable of reasonable judgment due to anti-American sentiment.” On the other hand, a college professor familiar with the jury system feels the petition is valid since the Constitution guarantees the defendant’s right to a fair trial, which he suspects may be difficult due to heated local media coverage. The daily added that the Supreme Court rebuffed a similar petition submitted by the defendants in a rape incident in 1995 on the grounds that there was no reason to believe that the judges would make a biased decision.  

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