Lakewood Resident Present At Y. Grunwald’s Trial In Japan

Japan courthouse(PHOTOS in extended article of the Japanese courthouse-taken for TLS). The following are excerpts of testimony heard at the trial of Yaakov Yosef Grunwald., by a Lakewood resident (Yosef B., the youngest of the three boys imprisoned, testified at the trial): Yosef said that he learned much about the Japanese justice system over the many months he was in jail before his trial, and gained much respect for it. He therefore expected to be exonerated and was  terribly hurt, when he was found guilty. When asked what he felt now about being in jail, Yossi said,” what can I say. Hashem wants me to be in jail”. He also told the judge that he would be happy for  Y. Grunwald  if  found innocent,  despite the fact the he was convicted, and that Yaakov Yosef, was fooled just as he had been.

 Yossi also said that the reason he took this job, was because he was offered 1000 dollars to do it, which he wanted so he could visit his Rebbe, the Visnitzer Rebbe of Monsey, for pesach. At the beginning of his trip, he did not  know what country he was to end up in, because  his had very little knowledge of any countries other than the USA and Europe. He had only heard “Japan” as the country in which Mazda was manufactured.

The trial finished on Wed, Oct 28. Yaakov Grunwald’s parents did not attend due to the trial being scheduled on the day their son was to be married. (Mobile users click here for photos).

This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 20,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp Community!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.


  1. 1. Lie detectors are notoriously unreliable, such that they are inadmissable as evidence.

    2. Even if they were unaware they were participating in a crime, they are nonetheless guilty – ignorance is not grounds for exhoneration.

  2. to anonymous 12:36,
    are you such a self hating jew that you just love to get other jews in trouble? how do you know they were guilty? did you speak to them beforehand? did you even know who they are? where i grew up, we learned to be dan likaf zechus and not make up facts when you clearly don’t know the whole story.

  3. i love how their are so many sonei yisrael posting on this site
    you could tell right away its just freaky
    these boys are pashut innocent v’zehu psuto kmahmaoy

  4. How are these boys “pashut innocent” when they themselves admitted to smuggling, albeit not drugs, but they admitted to smuggling antiques.
    Saying they’re innocent doesn’t do anything.

  5. You were probably referring to the expression “ignorance is no defense”;
    if you would spend more time educating yourself instead of writing your hateful nonsense you might realize your misusing the law. It’s referring to ignorance of the law itself not being unaware of the fact that you were involved in committing one. A little logic would allow you to see it wouldn’t make much sense otherwise. As for you- ignorance is no defense!

  6. To #2 and #4:

    If you dont know the facts, then keep quiet. The FACT is that they did not know what they were doing. The facts were explained in detail by one of the Askanim involved in the case. (The Rav from England). I dont have the time to list the details but if you were sincere, you would find out the details and apologize for your comments.

  7. Meir: So they were tricked and taken advantage of. Despicable. That doesn’t mitigate the fact that they broke the laws of a sovereign nation and will unfortunately pay the price.

  8. Does anybody know if these guys cooperated with the authorities? Because if they would have told the police who sent them and who was going to pick up their suitcase, they would get away with the slap on the wrist…I am afraid they didn’t want to be moser on the dispatcher, so how do you expect the police to believe they were mules…

  9. They didn’t know who was to retreive their package, but who sent them is known. Of course, he’s not going to fly to Japan an corroborate their story, so it’s of little use to the Japanese authorities and by extension the three boys.

  10. anon 15: the bochurim should have revealed the id of the guy who gave them the suitcase and if the Israeli police transferred him to Japan, they would have done much better than what they got. In the US, if the authorities if the mules help with apprehending the dispatcher or if the control delivery was successful, they get a major reduction in their sentence. In this case if they would also convince the police that they didn’t know of the drugs, they would probebly go free.

  11. Israel doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Japan. They’re certainly not going to make an exception for the sake of three chareidi youth. Turning in the smuggler for a reduced sentence is simply a nonstarter. There are some circumstances in life which, while just, are simply unfortunate. This is one such circumstance.

  12. I agree with #1. No more leasing Honda or Toyota. It definitely will make headlines in Japan if sales are down. If it hurts their pockets, they may do something about it. We need some campaign against them

  13. – Toyota sold 152,165 cars in the US in October alone.

    – There are about 650,000 Orthodox Jews in North America, nearly 350,000 of which are too young to drive.

    Taken together, Toyota sells approximaely SIX cars for every North American Orthodox Jew of legal driving age EVERY YEAR.

    In what possible reality do you think that a Japanese car boycott would actually be felt in Japan?!

    You’d have as much success taking your family to throw rocks in the Pacific Ocean hoping to cause a tsunami in Japan.

  14. Why in the world would you boycott Honda? What has Honda done?Did Honda set those guys up or something? Or may be the person who gave them the fateful ride to the airport drove Honda?

    All the Japan have done in this case was enforcing their laws. What do you expect them to do?

  15. B”H
    that would be a 20% drop in sales and may shake them badly. leib, did you ever hear of the saying ” ven es tut vai shrait men” you should do what ever you can to make up for your comment. all the gedolim said that it’s a case of piyon shvuim, and millions were spent to help them. are you sugesting to sit back now??????

  16. I can say that nebach yossi bondo didn’t have a trial as good as this one.Grinwald had 4 lawyers and were at full force. The younger boy had only one old lawyer who isn’t a criminal lawyer and that’s why he got convicted. Let’s all daven hard that the judge should have mercy and free yakov yosef ben reisel.

Comments are closed.