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  • Idubor Case: Lower Court Decision text, and complete letters from prison, written specially for Debito.org (part 1)

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on January 31st, 2008

    Hi Blog. Here are some letters from Osayuwamen “Yuyu” Idubor, written in jail and passed to me over the past couple of weeks through his wife. The Idubor Case is where a Nigerian was sentenced last December to three years for rape despite no physical evidence, and flawed accuser testimony. He gives us his view on what happened in his own words. (Click here to see a picture of Yuyu and his lawyer’s cross-examination of the flawed testimony.)

    I received his District Court Decision in PDF format a couple of weeks ago, but I haven’t gotten around to reading it. Those with time and interest can download it here: http://www.debito.org/iduborchisaihanketsu.pdf

    BTW, I created a blog entry on this some days ago, but not all the letters were in and they were not properly paginated. So I’ll start again, delete the old blog, and paste below the comments it got. There are many pages, and it will clog the blog if I print them all full size. So here are pages B1-B7 (about the bar itself–germane to the accusations made in the case), then pages 1 to 130. Pages 131 to 165 are in the next blog entry, pages 166-221 linked from there. Please click on thumbnails below to access each page.

    And if you want to support the Idubors, drop by his bar in Yokohama. Details on how to get there here. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

    ===============================

    Click on thumbnails to expand in browser:
    BigYCafefront.jpgBigYCafeinsidefront.jpgBigYCafeinsiderear.jpg

    Description of the Bar (the site of the alleged rape):
    Page nr B1.jpgPage nr B2.jpgPage nr B3.jpgPage nr B4.jpgPage nr B5.jpgPage nr B6.jpgPage nr B7.jpg

    What happened, in Yuyu Idubor’s own words:
    Page nr1.jpgPage nr21.jpgPage nr3.jpgPage nr4.jpgPage nr5.jpgPage nr6.jpgPage nr7.jpgPage nr8.jpgPage nr9.jpgPage nr10.jpgPage nr11.jpgPage nr12.jpgPage nr13.jpgPage nr14.jpgPage nr15.jpgPage nr16.jpgPage nr17.jpgPage nr18.jpgPage nr19.jpgPage nr20.jpgPage nr211.jpgPage nr22.jpgPage nr23.jpgPage nr24.jpgPage nr25.jpgPage nr26.jpgPage nr27.jpgPage nr28.jpgPage nr29.jpgPage nr30.jpgPage nr31.jpgPage nr32.jpgPage nr33.jpgPage nr34.jpgPage nr35.jpgPage nr36.jpgPage nr37.jpgPage nr38.jpgPage nr39.jpgPage nr40.jpgPage nr41.jpgPage nr42.jpgPage nr43.jpgPage nr44.jpgPage nr45.jpgPage nr46.jpgPage nr47.jpgPage nr48.jpgPage nr49.jpgPage nr501.jpgPage nr51.jpgPage nr52.jpgPage nr53.jpgPage nr54.jpgPage nr55.jpgPage nr561.jpgPage nr57.jpgPage nr58.jpgPage nr59.jpgPage nr60.jpgPage nr61.jpgPage nr62.jpgPage nr63.jpgPage nr64.jpgPage nr65.jpgPage nr66.jpgPage nr67.jpgPage nr68.jpgPage nr69.jpgPage nr70.jpgPage nr71.jpgPage nr72.jpgPage nr73.jpgPage nr74.jpgPage nr75.jpgPage nr76.jpgPage nr77.jpgPage nr78.jpgPage nr79.jpgPage nr80.jpgPage nr81.jpgPage nr82.jpgPage nr83.jpgPage nr84.jpgPage nr85.jpgPage nr86.jpgPage nr87.jpgPage nr88.jpgPage nr89.jpgPage nr90.jpgPage nr91.jpgPage nr92.jpgPage nr93.jpgPage nr94.jpgPage nr95.jpgPage nr96.jpgPage nr97.jpgPage nr98.jpgPage nr99.jpgPage nr100.jpgPage nr101.jpgPage nr102.jpgPage nr103.jpgPage nr104.jpgPage nr105.jpgPage nr106.jpgPage nr107.jpgPage nr108.jpgPage nr109.jpgPage nr110.jpgPage nr111.jpgPage nr112.jpgPage nr113.jpgPage nr114.jpgPage nr115.jpgPage nr116.jpgPage nr117.jpgPage nr118.jpgPage nr119.jpgPage nr120.jpgPage nr121.jpgPage nr122.jpgPage nr123.jpgPage nr124.jpgPage nr125.jpgPage nr126.jpgPage nr127.jpgPage nr128.jpgPage nr129.jpgPage nr130.jpg
    CONTINUES IN PART TWO, NEXT BLOG ENTRY…

    18 Responses to “Idubor Case: Lower Court Decision text, and complete letters from prison, written specially for Debito.org (part 1)”

    1. debito Says:

      FEEDBACK FROM CYBERSPACE

      Dear Mr. Debito,

      Thank you for all the great work you are doing to promote and protect the human rights of foreigners living in Japan.

      I’m particularly impressed by the support you’ve given to Mr. Idubor and his family. In this connection, I wonder if you are aware of a similar case that received a lot of media attention about ten years ago – that of Govinda Mainali, who is still in prison. Here is a link to the site of the Govinda Innocence Advocacy Group:

      http://www.jca.apc.org/govinda/index.html

      And a recent article in the Japan Times:

      http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20070517f2.html

      More power to you!

    2. debito Says:

      FEEDBACK FROM ADAM:

      Debito,

      what can we do about it? It seems like whatever happens to NJ in Japan nothing is going to help, even own Embassies. Why are they here then if they don`t serve own citizens well.
      Japan is a country without law, is worse (I`m sorry) than third world. Police, Court and first of all Lawyers are usleess!!! Are they charging for “help”? which case is likely to be lost. They care more about their carriers than help someone like NJ residents who pay taxes here. According to your Power Point presentation which I found good Ishihara who says Roppongi was taken over and is foreign and who knows what they are doing is so irresponsible. It shows GoJ do nothing to crack real criminals and overstayers, if they have no idea what`s going on there. You also mentioned that Japan won`t be “small” because people will always go and come. You`re right, but those who comes have to expect high taxes (like Scandinavian countries) with only different that in Japan there is no social help and treatment of NJ is humiliating. Cases like these and recently taxi case of Swedish journalist makes me feel like I will be the one you mentioned “NJ still immigrating” even though I`m PR I cannot see myself here. It`s too scary life, it`s like being all alone and even if someone “beat” you all you can do is let them do it or run. I do martial Arts here and was witness when a man was running away and and a woman was screaming “tsukamaete, tsukamaete!!!” I did not move,though he was next to me. I was too scare to help, good there were 3 Japanese guys who got him. It was on platform train station with many, many people watching it.
      Good Luck to Japan. Never get help from me anybody, unless I will be treated with respect for what I could do, not to be locked for help someone.
      I found website of Olimpic Committee but couldn`t find any contact details. Let`s make at least Japan not to get Olympic 2016. It would be too good for Ishihara and its people.
      Can we spread a word about real Japan. I was thinking about going on YouTube with kind of TV Channel called “REAL JAPAN TODAY” (beware!) What do you think.

    3. debito Says:

      FEEDBACK FROM PAUL:

      I also find myself increasingly frightened about coming to Japan again, and though I’ve lived and traveled there upwards of 50 times, I am really sensing a lot of hesitancy about returning again. I have a business trip coming up, so I must.

      Somewhat related to the gentleman’s experience above, I had a case where I did help out a Japanese person, only to be treated with suspicion thereafter.

      I was in Narita City on a Sunday afternoon when I heard a meek plaintive sobbing off in the distance, and I went to see what was up. A young boy of about 11 (who’s mother had left him in the car unguarded and unattended while she went shopping) got out of the car and then reached back in through the window to get the keys, when the window suddenly rose up and caught his wrist, compressing it quite strongly.

      Try as I might, I could not get the window to budge and the keys were inside the car! I’m not sure why, but I noticed blood emerging from this poor kid’s mouth, and clearly his hand was in danger of being lost. It was Narita on a Sunday and nobody was around. I started screaming at the top of my lungs for somebody to please come and help. After what seemed like forever, a shop owner came out and noticed us, and tried to help me with the window, to no avail, and then went off in search of the car’s owner, while I tried to soothe this kid’s nerves and tell him now it would be alright.

      After a few more moments, the shop owner came back with the mother, and this is where things really took a sad and scary turn. Fortunately, she did have another set of keys in her purse and was able to lower the window. But, having done that, she grabbed her child, AND RAN AWAY from ME as fast as she could. While she was chastising her child with words like “what were you doing?!” I looked over at the shop owner, who had pretty much summed up the situation, fortunately. I nodded “thank you” to him and then left, very quickly, as there’s no telling what might have happened if accusations started flying.

      I think it’s a sad state, however, where we are reluctant to offer basic assistance to someone in need, for fear that we might end up entangled in false accusations.

      Japan has become a very very scary country.

    4. debito Says:

      FEEDBACK FROM ICARUS:

      Adam, I think you should take a step back to reevaluate the total picture. Sure the government makes stupid decisions, sure the police can be harassing in their approach to NJ, and sure there are daily challenges that we all have to deal with, but it doesn’t help to overreact. Japan, for all of its problems, is still a wonderful place to live where one doesn’t have to live in fear of crime, people are friendly and where there this always something interesting going on. You can live your life in fear or you can decide to remember why you came to the country and enjoy it for what its worth.
      On a side note, you should NEVER be afraid to help someone if they are in trouble. If you lose this basic element of humanity then you have truly lost. Even if in the worst case scenario you have to spend some time in a police station, helping people is what makes humans decent.

    5. debito Says:

      FEEDBACK FROM JON:

      Maybe he is innocent. However, all I have seen on this site are reports or statements from Mr. Ibudor’s wife or his lawyer. Of course it will sound as if the case has no evidence and the testimony is flimsy.

      Not every rape case has physical evidence such as bodily fluids residue, etc.

      I am of course nervous when a case is just “his word against hers”. But it is possible he did force himself on her and try and rape her. Maybe he got scared and stopped half way through so no fluid evidence.

      And maybe if we heard the prosecutors side of the alleged victims testimony, we will have a completely different story or version then that of the defense lawyer.

      Yes, there is absolutely discrimination in Japan, maybe even worse if you are a black person. But just because the defendent is black does not automatically mean the Japanese legal establishment or the alleged victim are out to get him with lies and false testimony.

      –NO MATERIAL EVIDENCE MEANS YOU MUST ACQUIT. THAT IS THE ESSENCE OF THE PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE. THE ACCUSER MUST MAKE THE CASE STICK, AND THERE IS ENOUGH DOUBT IN THE TESTIMONY TO VOID THAT. THE ACCUSED DOES NOT HAVE TO PROVE INNOCENCE, EVEN IN JAPAN. THAT IS REGARDLESS OF RACE.

    6. debito Says:

      FEEDBACK FROM JEAN-PAUL:

      “NO MATERIAL EVIDENCE MEANS YOU MUST ACQUIT.”

      Absolutely not the case. For example, just consider how nearly every case of rape or molestation brought against priests in the United States was prosecuted without any material evidence – just victim testimony (often without corroboration) – and sometimes decades after the offense took place.

      In the United States, it has been widely acknowledged that many women – because of shame or other factors – do not report rapes until well after physical evidence has been lost. There are legal provisions to ensure that they still have recourse to testimony which is sufficient for conviction without material evidence in nearly every state.

      Here is an interesting commentary on the application of this in India (including reference to an American case where there was a conviction without material evidence)

      http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Rape_conviction_sans_medical_proof_valid/articleshow/2241326.cms

      Here are some of the detailed precedents in US law –
      United States v. Bear Runner 574 F.2d 966 (8th Cir. 1978)
      United States v. Smith 303 F.2d 341, 342 (4th Cir. 1962)
      United States v. Ryan 21 M.J. 627, 632 (A.C.M.R. 1985)
      United States v. Deshotel, 15 M.J. 787 (A.C.M.R. 1983)
      Smith v. State, 604 So. 2d 434, 436 (Ala. Crim. App. 1992)
      The last one actually contains the statement “A Rape conviction may be based solely on the victim’s uncorroborated testimony.”

      In the United States, the ability to achieve a rape conviction with only victim testimony is considered to be one of the absolutely most fundamental legal protections given to women.

    7. debito Says:

      FEEDBACK FROM JON:

      I am under the impression that even in the U.S., many cases do not have material evidence but is based solely on witness testimony. And this often includes sexual assault. Sexual assault does not always end in the exhange of bodily fluids which would be the only true material or physical evidence aside from maybe bruising or other injuries.

      Maybe I am wrong and all cases that are based solely on witness testimony end in aquital. But I don’t think that is the case.

    8. Drew Says:

      Whoops, they took so much trouble to black out the complainant’s name all the way through the document, and then [forgot it in one spot].

      –QUITE. I RECEIVED THE HANKETSU WITH THE NAMES BLACKED OUT BY MR TSURUSAKI, THEIR LAWYER. I HAVE CONTACTED THEIR LAWYER AND ASKED HIM TO SEND ME ANOTHER COPY OF THE HANKETSU WITH THE NAME DROPPED OUT COMPLETELY.

      IF YOU HAVE THE TOOLS TO BLACKEN IT OUT FOR ME, THAT WOULD HELP OUT NICELY TOO (I CAN’T). THANKS. DEBITO

    9. Global Voices Online » Japan: Letters from the Prision Says:

      [...] Debito posted letters from Osayuwamen Idubor, written in jail. The Nigerian was sentenced last December to three years for rape despite no physical evidence and flawed accuser testimony. Part I and Part II. Share This [...]

    10. Willie Says:

      re: Adam and Paul

      Many folks are now of the view that the US has sunk to the level that the authorities are out of hand. My take is that the human rights situation is dramatically worse there now than here. After all, if a country is willing to do what it’s doing in Iraq, what will it be willing to do at home?

    11. ponta Says:

      Debito

      Delete the link to the court transcript until you black out the [plaintiff's] name.

      –I HAVE REMOVED THE PDF FROM MY SERVER FOR THE TIME BEING. WE’LL GET IT UP AFTER THE LAWYER MAKES THE CORRECTION.

    12. Mark in Yayoi Says:

      Why should the complainant have her name withheld while Mr. Idubor’s name and picture and personal history is available for all to see?

      I realize that technically Mr. Idubor is a convicted criminal and the complainant is a victim of a crime, but shouldn’t there besome debate about why one party gets complete anonymity and the other party’s name is published? With internet archives and search engines, Mr. Idubor will be forever linked to this incident whenever someone searches for his name on the internet. This is, in effect, a punishment in perpetuity, and will remain even after any possible overturning of the court’s decision. If Mr. Idubor has to endure this, then the accuser should too.

    13. HO Says:

      Mark in Yayoi said;
      “This is, in effect, a punishment in perpetuity, and will remain even after any possible overturning of the court’s decision. If Mr. Idubor has to endure this, then the accuser should too.”

      Do you mean a rape victim should be penalized just like the rapists, if she accuses them?
      Women’s right activists will beat you into shreds. The fact that a woman is raped remains in her privacy, and should not be distributed freely.

      Her identity should not be revealed until her accusation is found false.

    14. TJJ Says:

      I have to agree with you HO, but also, I believe the accused’s name should not be revealed until he is found guilty.

      –UNFORTUNATELY, HE WAS. IN A COURT OF LAW. ALTHOUGH WE ARE QUESTIONING THE JURISPRUDENCE BEHIND IT.

    15. HO Says:

      I read the court judgment while it was on your blog. If I remember correctly, it says Mr. Idubor testified as follows.

      In the early next morning of the alleged rape, Mr. Idubor gave the alleged rape victim a ride to her friend’s home. In the car, she started touching his genitalia. He touched her genitalia in return.

      Debito, would you check the court judgment to see if I am correct?

      The letter from Mr. Ibudor describes the ride from page 71 through 80. It says she touched him at the belly but says nothing about his touching her.

      This is important because the defendant argued that the “ressho” (laceration/cut) in her genitalia found by a doctor who saw her after the alleged rape may be caused by his touching in the car.

      –BECAUSE, MRS IDUBOR TOLD ME TONIGHT, HE DIDN’T. HE WAS DUPED INTO SIGNING SOMETHING BY POLICE THAT HE COULDN’T READ (EVEN HIS OLD LAWYER, NOT MR TSURUSAKI, ADVISED HIM TO SIGN IT, AND THEN HE COULD GO HOME, HE WAS TOLD).

      IF THE RAPE DID IN FACT OCCUR IN THE BAR AS THE ACCUSER TESTIFIED, HOW CAN THEY BE ON FRIENDLY-ENOUGH TERMS TO GET IT ON IN THE CAR AFTERWARDS? THIS IS A PRETERNATURAL RELATIONSHIP. HOLES ALL OVER THE PLACE IN THE ACCUSER’S TESTIMONY, SO YOU MUST GO BY PHYSICAL EVIDENCE. THERE ISN’T ANY. THERE’S ONLY THIS CONFESSION, OBTAINED THROUGH DECEPTION.

      IT’S NOT THE FIRST TIME SET-UPS AND FORCED CONFESSIONS LIKE THESE REGARDING RAPE HAPPEN IN THE JAPANESE POLICE. SEE CASE HERE INVOLVING A PROVABLY INNOCENT JAPANESE DEFENDANT. DIFFERENCE IS, IDUBOR COULDN’T READ WHAT HE WAS SIGNING. WHICH IS WHY YOU NEVER SIGN A CONFESSION IN JAPAN. IT WILL NOT BE OVERTURNED LATER IN COURT UPON DISCOVERY.

    16. Jeffrey Fisher Says:

      Hi Debito, first time writing a response here for me. I have been reading your articles since the start and have been aware of your efforts since Koko Ga Hendayo Nihonjin. Being half-American and half-Japanese, I can relate a great deal to your cause. After reading Yuyu’s testimony (which I hope will be completed soon), it just really hit home for me that Japan’s justice system has really sunk to this level, especially after this happened to a guy who was popular on TV for 3 years.

      I don’t know whether Yuyu is truely innocent or not, but it’s no question that his human rights have been infringed upon. During my time in Japan, I was lucky to get caught twice with no gaijin card on me and not have to go to the koban or anything, but I would trade that in a heartbeat just so that all foreigners could get a fair trial in this country. The justice system is morally corrupt and extremelly slow to reform, and more Japanese people must be made aware of this issue if Japan is to rebuild itself in the years to come.

      Is there no way to alert the mainstream media to Yuyu’s case or any other similar incidents? Things would certainly be done if 1000s of people took to the streets in protest.

      Today, a U.S. soldier was arrested in Okinawa again for raping a 14 year old girl. This is a very serious issue that foreigners need to address as well if we are to get the Japanese public on our side.

      One thing I think we can take from all of this is to be cautious for the wrath of women. If Yuyu’s testimony is accurate, then “F” seems like a a very dangerous woman who set him up through her connections with men. Maybe we need to find a way to send the police after her. Any word from her “Brazilian” ex-boyfriend?

      –No further word. I’m just reporting what others have said. All the information I have (save the hanketsu, which needs the Plaintiff’s name removed in one place before I can put it back up, but their lawyer has not responded to requests for that to happen; it’ll have to stay down until), is on this site. The people who asked me to publicize this case are reading this blog. They are welcome to respond here too. That’s the best I can do. Sorry. Debito

    17. debito Says:

      Sorry to keep everyone waiting. Finally got word from the Idubors’ lawyer. The adjusted hanketsu is up. Arudou Debito

      http://www.debito.org/iduborchisaihanketsu.pdf

    18. Risa Says:

      Hi Debito,
      I happened to read your story on this case back in September last year and went to Yokohama District Court to sit through a hearing. Seeing that the presiding judge seemed to understand English to the extent that he corrected the court interpreter on a few occasions, I was being hopeful. Another reason why I was hopeful was that all 3 judges asked questions to all the witnesses that testified that day. So I was under the impression that the judges were genuinely interested in finding out what really happned and that they would hear the stories from both sides fairly. Alas, that was not the case. I was there when the ruling was announced in the courtroom on December 10th. I was very disappointed indeed.
      Now I learned that the first hearing at the Tokyo High Court will be held at 15:00 on Monday, the 24th of March, in courtroom 803 on the 8th floor. I hear that you will be in Tokyo around this time on your book tour. I hope you have some time to spare to come to the hearing to show the judges there that there are people out there that care about this case and to show support for the Idubor couple. I’ll try to be there myself.

      –So will I. Thanks for the information! Debito

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