Verdict From Japan: High Court Fails To Overturn Ruling On Yakov Yosef Ben Reizel

japan prisonThe following is a report submitted to TLS from one of the Askonim present at today’s trial in Tokyo’s High Court: Chamber 410 16 May 2011 14:30 pm Tokyo time – session began. 16:15 – session concluded. Dear Yidden around the world; Last night the Tokyo High Court failed to overturn the ruling of the district court.

However, the presiding appelate judge did show leniency when calculating the credit for time served off the initial sentence. In total the judge deducted 814 days from the 6 year sentence, eventhough
these days were spent al Hatorah ve’al havodah at the detention centre, and not in forced labour.

The prosecution initially demanded a 13 year sentence. You may remember that an extraordinary sentence of 6 years was handed down in the district court, in addition to a monetary fine of 4 million ¥,
this equating $50,000.

The verdict of 6 years was based on the fact that the judges found reason to accuse that Yakov Yosef should have suspected something was amiss, and although he had no clear knowledge of any contraband, there was negligence on his part for not being more cautious.

The judge claimed that the polygraph examination, whilst out ruling clear knowledge, does not prove lack of suspicion. The defence attorneys were dismayed at the callous nature of the judge’s dismissal of the defence arguments.

Mr. Masaki, one of the lawyers, commented that the judge failed to glance even once at the lawyers during the verdict due to his lack of confidence with his verdict, and knowing that his verdict contains
many illogical assumptions.

For a number of reasons an appeal was filed, among them:

1) Yakov Yosef’s not accepting his verdict directly assisted Yoel Zev’s trial which is taking longer than expected due to court technicalities and changes of judges.  In Japan, not accepting the verdict is a powerful indication of the defendants and co-defendants claim to innocence. Furthermore, the appeal process brought to light substantial evidence for the defence of Yoel Zev who is scheduled to receive his verdict on 29th August.

2) Yakov Yosef was saved having to go to a forced labour prison camp during the appeal phase. The forced labour sentence allows virtually no free time for davening or learning. Yakov Yosef spent this time in the detention centre learning with great hasmodah.

3) The District Court failed to examine some of the strong evidence material, including the polygraph results. It was hoped that at the appeal trial these elements would overturn the verdict.
Current Status:

Efforts are being made to retain Yakov Yosef’s status at the Chiba detention centre until his transfer to Israel. We would want to avoid the forced labour at all costs.

According to Israeli protocol, one third of the full sentence can be deducted, and the remaining time can also be commuted as per their discretion.

According to this, Yakov Yosef could be out of prison within 10 months from now. Askonim are working towards this goal.

Reb Aron Nezri and Reb Meilech Bindinger visited Yakov Yosef immediately after the verdict, together with defence attorney Mr. Ozawa.

Yakov Yosef was amazingly upbeat.

I quote some of his comments:

“I took upon myself kabolos toivois, however I do not regret them for a second.” “I also do not regret filing for my appeal.  During this time I concluded hilchos boser becholov, hilchos taaruvos, and over 100 daf gemorroh; I would never have managed this elsewhere.”

Mr. Ozawa sadly said to Yakov Yosef that he feels very sorry for him, and conveyed the feeling of the defense team, that Yakov Yosef’s attitude in court and when accepting his sentence was respectful and

At the court room today were present the parents of Yakov Yosef, Reb Aron Nezri, Reb Meilech Bindinger, Rabbi Binyomin Edery and Rabbi Mendy Sudakevitch of Tokyo, and other concerned yidden from USA, UK, Israel and Japan.

May we merit to hear good tidings.

Please daven for Yaakov Yosef ben Raizel and Yoel Zev ben Mirel Reesa Chava.
To take part in the mitzva of pidyon shevuyim

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  1. If the decision by the Judge went differently and they were cleared of all charges just imagine what this would do for everyone else that has been suspected or even convicted of this type of charge. Its a hard decision but a fair one has been made and we all have to deal with the verdict.

  2. annonymous, you can say that because you sit behind your comfortable seat on your own territory. “we all have to deal with the verdict?” whose we? you aint doing no dealing just saying that its okay for 2 boys to continue suffering. you make me so proud to be jewish. and #1, the verdict was 6 years in prison but they are going to try to appeal again

  3. If one would truly feel the Tzar of the shechina they would not right a comment like 2. Imagine it was your child.
    Hakodosh boruch hu can find another way to teach the world.
    It always feels good to say things are right but it is so callous.

  4. “Its a hard decision but a fair one has been made and we all have to deal with the verdict.”

    Wrong, YOU don’t have to deal with the verdict, HE does. Big talker.

  5. quote
    “The verdict of 6 years was based on the fact that the judges found reason to accuse that Yakov Yosef should have suspected something was amiss, and although he had no clear knowledge of any contraband, there was negligence on his part for not being more cautious.’
    This is a statement made by whomever wrote this article and does not tell the whole story

    you don’t get a six year prison term for just being unaware you are involved in a criminal activity, if thats the case the lawyers did not do a very good job in his defense and it should be appealed but a new defense team should be brought in

  6. What is ironic in all of this is that the bochurim got a fairer trial in the “Land Of The Rising Sun” than Rabbi Rubashkin got in the land of “Liberty And Justice For All”. What’s amazing in all of this is the incredible emunah and bitachon of Yoel Zev and Yaakov Yosef. They’re an inspiration to all of us. May Hashem grant them their release bkarov and may we all be zoche to the geula shelaima bimhayra byamainu.

  7. In light of the recent accidents in Lakewood, I would like to bring up a point which I feel is very applicable especially in this trying time. Davening. I was brought up that women were not exempt from davening and were obligated to do so 3 times a day. I feel so privileged to have an opportunity to praise, thank, and ask Hashem for anything I want 3 times a day! Davening does not mean each tefilla taking a half hour. when my children were young and I didn’t have so much time on my hands, I was told by my Rav which tefillos to say inorder to be yotzei Shachris, Mincha and Maariv and without each one taking a long time. So I spent 5 minutes, 3 times a day to daven.
    I feel that women nowadays think they are exempt from davening with the excuse being that it a mitzvah shehazman grama. A women is obligated to daven 3 times a day-again, each tefilla can take only 5 minutes.
    This pertains to the recent accidents because people should realize that instead of taking things upon oneself, running to hear mussar speeches, or not saying lashon hara as a zchus for the choleh, we must not forget that it is more important to daven. Mothers who have small children are running to speeches and taking upon so many kaballos but what they aren’t remembering to do is daven. Davening is more important and comes before kabbalos and mussar speeches.

  8. SHREKLACH!! How can we say we have to deal with it!!! How Do we deal with it other then davening saying tehillim and donating money to cover the legal fees!

  9. To #6:
    As #7 said, this is Japan we’re talking about. They have an entirely different mindset, culture, as well as penalty system. From everything i’ve read throughout this case, contrary to what you suggest, the defense lawyers seemingly did an exceptional and extremely thorough job, including bringing an internationally recognized expert (even by Japanese standards) on polygraph (lie detector) tests to Japan to refute the prosecutor’s claims that although he passed the test he may still have had some idea. As noted in the article, the judge apparently totally ignored this testimony. From what I hear the Japanese conviction rate is supposedly extremely high, i.e. they find very few people not guilty of charges. Nevertheless every single thing is in H-Shem’s “hands” so let us all continue to daven that they will permit his transfer to E.Y. very quickly and avoid forced labor, and that the court should find Yoel Zev innocent or at the very least consider the time he’s already served to be his full sentence and let him go home.

  10. # 11, its wonderful that you daven 3 times a day. But I have difficulty digesting your assertion that the terrible accidents of recent days are a result in our lack of diligence in Tefila. In general, I have a difficulty understanding people who point to specific shortcomings ( and despite what you say, I don’t think a womans missed Maariv is a shortcoming) as a reason for a tragedy. The ways of Hashem are just, but we do not always understand.

  11. it seems that her point wasnt that a women not davening which brought upon the accidents. i think what she is trying to say is that people should focus more on davening.

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