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  • Valentine Lawsuit: NPA denies medical treatment to suspect, Tokyo Dist. Court rules testimony invalid due to witness being African

    Posted by arudou debito on July 15th, 2007

    “WE CAN’T TRUST THE TESTIMONY OF BLACK PEOPLE”
    ANOTHER CASE OF JUDICIAL MISCARRIAGE
    A NIGERIAN INJURED AND DETAINED IN J POLICE CUSTODY
    LOSES HIS LAWSUIT AGAINST THE NATIONAL POLICE AGENCY

    Report by ARUDOU Debito, Sapporo, Japan
    debito@debito.org, http://www.debito.org
    Freely forwardable
    Released July 15, 2007

    Japan Times Community Page article, August 14, 2007, on this case, entitled “Abuse, racism, lost evidence deny justice in Valentine Case”, available here.

    This post is organized thusly:
    SUMMARY
    WHY THIS CASE MATTERS TO DEBITO.ORG
    FACTS AND ASSERTIONS OF THE CASE
    CONCLUSIONS

    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    SUMMARY: According to court records, on December 9, 2003, UC Valentine, a Nigerian citizen working in Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo, was questioned by plain-clothes police on suspicion of violating laws forbidding the distribution of hand-held billets to passersby. Eventually a scuffle ensued in a narrow alley, where a melee of police and touts wound up with an injured Valentine being pinned to the ground by several police. Plaintiff Valentine claims that he was assaulted while being restrained, by a cop who repeatedly kicked Valentine’s leg so hard that it broke below the knee. The police claim that Valentine injured himself, running away and crashing knee-first into an elevated bar sign attached to the alley wall. In any case, Valentine was apprehended and interrogated for ten days, denied hospitalization or adequate medical treatment for the interim. Consequently, his leg injury became so medically traumatized that it required complex hospital operations. To this day Valentine remains physically impaired and in constant pain. In 2005, Valentine sued the NPA for damages and hospital bills totaling 42,937,800 yen in Tokyo District Court, but lost his case on March 29, 2007. Inter alia, the court ruled that not only was a doctor’s expert testimony about Plaintiff’s crippling injuries merely “a sense, not based upon rational grounds”, but also that a witness’s testimony was inadmissible because he is African. Clearly there is an emerging pattern of differing standards for non-Japanese claimants in Japanese courts.

    The case is currently on appeal in the Tokyo High Court. First hearing on Tuesday, July 17, 2007, Tokyo Koutou Saibansho 8F, Rm 808, 1:30PM. Attend if you want.
    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    Heisei 17 (wa) Dai 17658, Tokyo District Court, Civil Court Dai 44-Bu
    Plaintiff: UC VALENTINE
    Defendant: Tokyo Municipal Government (Tokyo-to), Governor ISHIHARA Shintaro et al.

    Tokyo District Court decision full text in Japanese at
    http://www.debito.org/valentinelawsuit.html
    NPA’s fishy photo testimony of what happened at
    http://www.debito.org/valentinelawsuit.html#NPAtestimony
    Plaintiff Valentine’s testimony in English
    http://www.debito.org/valentinelawsuit.html#etestimony

    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    WHY THIS CASE MATTERS: Setting aside any “he-said, she-said” doubts about different recall of the facts of the case, both parties agree that Valentine was detained in police custody for ten days without hospitalization. This caused his medical condition to worsen to the point of debilitation. This was not, however, seen by the judiciary as something the police should take any responsibility for.

    As far as Debito.org goes, from a judicial standpoint this case is also of great concern due to differing standards for evidence based upon nationality. The judge, when dismissing the case, actually goes so far as to say (page 19) that testimony of a witness for Valentine (who vouches for his version on the police breaking his leg) cannot be trusted because it is “from the Black Community”. To quote:

    ===============================
    “In light of the fact that the witness has been acquainted with the Plaintiff , visiting him in hospital after his leg was broken, and is a friend of quite some closeness, and the fact that they associated with each other within the Black Community in Kabukichou, witness Francis’s testimony as an eyewitness account is not something we can see as having objectivity, and as such cannot possibly believe.”

    “shounin wa, juuzen kara genkoku to menshiki ga ari, honken kossetsu go mo genkoku o byouin wo mimatteiru nado kanari shitashii koto ga ukagatteiru yuujin de ari, kabukichou no kokujin no komyunitei no nakama de atta koto tou o terasu to, shounin Furanshisu no kyoujutsu wa, mokugeki shougen to shite kyakkansei o yuusuru mono to wa iezu, kono mama shinyou suru toutei dekinai”
    http://www.debito.org/valentinelawsuit.html#19
    ===============================

    Hm, try disqualifying a person’s testimony because he’s a member of a Black Community (not to mention because he is a friend who visits the Plaintiff in hospital), and see how that gets you in the judiciary of most of the world’s other developed countries. Moreover, the accounts of other police officers are not similarly called into doubt for having too much closeness in their own “community”.

    I’ve seen this sort of thing before. Check out the cracked judge in the McGowan Case of 2006, where the Plaintiff (an African-American) was refused entry by an eyeglass shop expressly because the shopkeep “hates black people”. There, Osaka District Court Judge Saga Yoshifumi ruled against the gaijin there too. Inter alia, McGowan and his Japanese wife’s eyewitness accounts were deemed insufficient due to an alleged language barrier. Full details on that case (starting with a Japan Times article) at
    http://www.debito.org/mcgowanhanketsu.html#japantimesfeb7

    In this case, presiding Judge Sugiyama et al go one better, and say that because they are black they are thick as thieves…

    It’s one of the reasons we are seeing cases of suspects escaping overseas because they believe they’re going to get a raw deal in a Japanese court due to their foreignness.
    http://www.debito.org/?p=361

    I have no sympathy for wanted criminals, of course, but neither the McGowan nor the Valentine Cases are criminal cases. And still they got raw deals–court defeats. Due to a different set of judicial standards applied to foreigners than to Japanese. Adding these cases to the collection.

    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    FACTS AND ASSERTIONS OF THE CASE
    (based upon the court decision and with Valentine’s claims)

    On December 9, 2003, UC Valentine (born 1972 and married to a Japanese from 2002) was working his shift as a show club distributing pamphlets to potential clients. In the early evening, he was approached by two plain-clothes officers who appeared to Valentine to be customers (Valentine asserts that they did not identify themselves as police until a melee ensued).

    Minutes later, in a narrow alleyway close to the show club, other members of the Black Community shouted repeatedly to Valentine, “Leave them!”, apparently aware that they were either police or yakuza. What happens next depends on the side of the courtroom you’re sitting, but in any case, due either to panic (Valentine) or guilt (police), Valentine fled, then found himself being restrained by three cops on the ground in the alleyway. He was arrested on suspicion of violating the Entertainment and Amusement Trades Control Act (Fuueihou) Art. 22 Sec. 1 for distributing nightlife pamphlets on the street.

    Somewhere in this scuffle Valentine’s right leg was broken below the knee. Valentine’s version (as was his eyewitness’s, unfortunately Black) is that a police officer named Tanabu kicked him several times in the knee, even while the former was being restrained by two other cops. The cops say (in photo-reenacted evidence shown to me in person by Valentine and his wife on April 26, 2007, and scanned at Debito.org at http://www.debito.org/valentinelawsuit.html#kneebash) that when Valentine fled, he crashed into a metal sign (jutting out in a triangle from the wall) knee first, breaking his leg.

    valentineNPAreport004.jpg
    valentineNPAreport0052.jpg

    What’s fishy about this story is when you look at the photograph, the sign is actually on a wall 23 cms high, with a sidewalk below it showing a raised curb and two steps. Valentine was nimble enough to avoid tripping over three steps, but somehow not nimble enough to avoid the sign. When you consider that this happened on a December 9 around 8PM, when the sign is likely to be lit and the steps in shadow, it is odd that the more visible object is the thing Valentine allegedly crashed into.

    Also odd is that if he crashed into the sign knee-first, it should have broken his knee, not the bone below his knee. However, the police apparently confiscated Valentine’s pants for analysis, and after some time finally returned them with no report on whether or not there were traces of footprint.

    Valentine was held in police custody between December 9 and 19, 2003, and, despite being put into a cast, given no access to a hospital. According to his testimony (http://www.debito.org/valentinelawsuit.html#etestimony), he claims that police interrogation involved quid pro quos–access to painkillers and his wife in exchange for signing documents, one a statement stating inter alia that the police did not injure him. On Day 10 of his interrogation, once the clause about injury was eliminated, Valentine signed and was turned over to Immigration, who called an ambulance and hospitalized him at Ebara Byouin, Tokyo, immediately. His leg was apparently busted up so badly (a case the doctor who treated him, whose testimony was entered into the court record (page 17 (i)), said he had never seen the likes of before) that it required rib bone transferal to the area at great time and expense.

    Situations like these in Japanese custody have come under fire in 2007 by the United Nations Committee Against Torture. See
    http://www.debito.org/?p=494

    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    WHY THE COURT REJECTED VALENTINE’S SUIT

    In addition to dismissing the eyewitness testimony due to being members of the wrong ethnic community, the decision makes two singularly interesting points, also indicative of this court’s odd standards of evidence:

    1) In order for a foreigner to sue the State of Japan, the foreigner’s home country laws must also cover a Japanese in the same situation in that country (page 13 3.1 (1)). I’m not a lawyer, but I would have thought that Japan’s laws apply to everyone equally, including foreign residents, regardless of their country of origin. Fortunately, the judges rule that Valentine’s Nigerian citizenship does not void his ability to sue the State.

    2) Despite acknowledging the expertise of Valentine’s examining doctor at Ebara Byouin, the judges dismiss their medical testimony as merely “a sense” (kankaku teki), not “rational grounds” (gouriteki na konkyou–page 17 (i)). The judges even decide (in their somehow professional medical opinion, on page 15 u (a)) that Valentine’s leg didn’t get that much worse while in custody. Then they even judge on their own recognizance (page 16 item e) that Valentine’s bones are strong–so he must have run into that sign pretty hard to hurt himself. After all, shoes, they say, inflict “pinpoint injuries”, and Tanabu’s “rubber shoes” wouldn’t cause the injuries that Valentine suffered (page 16 a (a)). Shoes are apparently incapable of stomping from the heel, I guess.

    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    CONCLUSIONS

    There are other fine points, such as who did what to whom with what, and whether people were running slow or fast, but never mind. The point still remains that Valentine was crippled due to a sustained lack of medical attention, and what kept him from that were the Kabukichou Police.

    The responsibility for this is not discussed adequately in the decision (judges assert that an X-ray, a cast, disinfection, and draining blood from the joints performed on the first day of incarceration were somehow medically sufficient (page 22 3 (1) i (a) onwards)–even were the best that could be done in a non-life-threatening situation given the fact that he was in custody. Therefore nothing illegal happened. Regardless of the fact that Valentine still wound up crippled, for reasons his doctor says was due to prolonged medical inattention.

    Even if Valentine had not been crippled by the police (instead, say, stabbed in the leg by a criminal), would these dangerously temporary measures still be legal? Quite probably. Which means the NPA’s clear negligence for the welfare of the incarcerated, plus the judiciary’s unwillingness to force them to take responsibility when something goes wrong, is damning evidence of the unaccountability within Japan’s criminal justice system.

    Couple that with a court willing to use any pretext possible to discount the victim’s standpoint, including overruling doctors and dismissing testimony by nationality, and you have a police force which, increasingly clearly, can deal with foreigners any way they like with impunity.

    Arudou Debito
    Sapporo, Japan
    debito@debito.org
    http://www.debito.org
    July 15, 2007
    REPORT ON VALENTINE LAWSUIT ENDS

    10 Responses to “Valentine Lawsuit: NPA denies medical treatment to suspect, Tokyo Dist. Court rules testimony invalid due to witness being African”

    1. Joe Says:

      Debito, you’re really misrepresenting the opinion of the court. They didn’t discount the testimony because Francis was black: they discounted the testimony because he was friends with the plaintiff and therefore a biased witness. Remove the phrase “within the black community,” read the sentence again, and there is nothing racist about it: it could just as easily have been two Japanese people working at the same company.

      If this trial had taken place in the US, the factfinder (whether judge or jury) would be free to reach the same conclusion in weighing this evidence.

      Now I think it does have an EFFECT of putting foreigners at a disadvantage in court, because unless they are abnormally well-integrated into Japanese society, it will be very difficult for them to solicit the cooperation of disinterested eyewitnesses. But that’s VERY different than saying “the testimony was excluded because the witness was black.”

      (That said, the court’s treatment of the expert medical testimony was ridiculous, and I hope the High Court does not engage itself in diagnosis on the appeal.)

      ——————————-

      –HI JOE. OF COURSE, I DON’T THINK I AM MISREPRESENTING THE COURT OPINION. AS I SAID, THE POLICE (WHICH IS IN ANY COUNTRY AN EVEN TIGHTER “COMMUNITY”) ARE NOT HELD UP TO THE SAME STANDARD FOR DISCOUNTING TESTIMONY. IF I WERE A JUDGE AND WERE TO SAY, “ALL OF THESE COPS’ TESTIMONIES ARE RULED UNBELIEVABLE BECAUSE THEY ARE COPS; THEY WERE IN THE SAME INTERROGATION ROOM TOGETHER, AND HAVE KNOWN EACH OTHER FOR YEARS”, WOULD THAT HOLD WATER IN COURT? OF COURSE NOT.

      BUT THERE’S A LOT OF BENEFITING FOR THE DOUBT DUE TO “THE THIN BLUE LINE” EFFECT (I.E. A NATURAL SYMPATHY FOR THE POLICE FORCES) WITHIN JUDICIARIES WORLDWIDE. AND IT’S EVEN STRONGER IN JAPAN, GIVEN THE INCREDIBLE POWER OF THE PROSECUTION IN THE J JUDICIARY.

      YOUR POINT ABOUT HOW NJ ARE AT A NATURAL DISADVANTAGE HERE IS A MUCH STRONGER ONE, THANKS FOR IT. DEBITO

    2. debito Says:

      KIRK AT THE COMMUNITY WRITES:

      Dear Debito and friends,

      I was particularly interested in the

      “WE CAN’T TRUST THE TESTIMONY OF BLACK PEOPLE”
      aspect of this issue.

      Of interest to readers of Debito.org: Inter alia, the Court ruled
      that not only was a doctor’s expert testimony about Plaintiff’s
      crippling injuries merely “a sense, not based upon rational
      grounds”, but also that a witness’s tesitmony was inadmissable
      because he is African. Clearly there is an emerging pattern of
      different standards of evidence for non-Japanese claimants in
      Japanese courts.
      Here’s Debito’s summary of the relevant portion of the verdict:

      “In light of the fact that the witness has been acquainted with the
      Plaintiff, visiting him in hospital after his leg was broken, and
      is a friend of quite some closeness, and the fact that they
      associated with each other within the Black Community in
      Kabukichou, witness Francis’s testimony as an eyewitness account is
      not something we can see as having objectivity, and as such cannot
      possibly believe.”

      “shounin wa, juuzen kara genkoku to menshiki ga ari, honken
      kossetsu go mo genkoku o byouin wo mimatteiru nado kanari shitashii
      koto ga ukagatteiru yuujin de ari, kabukichou no kokujin no
      komyunitei no nakama de atta koto tou o terasu to, shounin
      Furanshisu no kyoujutsu wa, mokugeki shougen to shite kyakkansei o
      yuusuru mono to wa iezu, kono mama shinyou suru toutei dekinai”
      http://www.debito.org/valentinelawsuit.html#19
      ===============================

      I took a look at the relevant portion of the verdict (top of page 19)
      and after reading it agree fundamentally with Debito’s analysis.
      He’s how I parse it:

      The argument seems to be that the witness’s testimony is weak for
      three reasons: 1) it is vague; 2) portions of it do not fit the
      facts; and 3) the witness is a friend of the plaintiff and thus his
      objectivity is questionable. It is in regard to the third point that
      the following phrase appears:

      歌舞伎町の黒人コミュニティーの仲間であったこと
      he was a member of the black community of Kabuki-cho

      This is not quite as bad as saying “we don’t believe anything black
      people say.” On the other hand, there seems to be an assumption that
      there is a strong “black community” in Kabuki-cho and that the
      witnesses supposed membership (whatever that would mean) in the
      community would have a serious impact on the witnesses objectivity.
      No support is given for the assumption of solidarity in this
      community (or even for the existence of such a community). It
      reminds me of notions of the “Italian community” in the U.S. During
      the early 19th century Italian-Americans tended to be viewed as one
      community. However,

      Indeed, at their inception, most Italian mutual-aid and fraternal
      associations admitted exclusively those Italians who had come from
      a specific region, province, or even village, and barred from
      membership all the people who had been born elsewhere.

      http://www.cairn.info/article.php?
      ID_REVUE=RFEA&ID_NUMPUBLIE=RFEA_096&ID_ARTICLE=RFEA_096_0089

      or

      http://tinyurl.com/2vrnep

      I also heard or read somewhere that a Sicilian person, while viewed
      by the non-Italian
      American society as Italian, was much more likely to marry a person
      of no Italian ancestry than to marry and Italian who was not Sicilian.

      The point is that ethnic identity as perceived by outsiders can be
      very different from how the ethnic identity is understood by the
      people presumed to share it. There may be some degree of solidarity
      among people affiliated with something that might be called the
      “black community of Kabuicho” (that is, solidarity that transcends
      other class, ethnic and national identities) but it strikes me as
      racist to simply assume the existence of a close community because
      people share black skin.

      As evidence that the witness is a “very close friend” (かなり親
      しい友人) of the victim, the fact that he visited him in the
      hospital is raised. I might visit a victim of a crime even if I had
      only met the victim at the scene of the crime — particularly if what
      I saw made me sympathize with the victim and if I felt the victim was
      unlikely to have other support. It seems that “he’s black and of
      course we know that all black people stick together” is thrown in to
      strengthen the argument that the testimony was unduly influenced by
      friendship with or concern for the victim. The racial argument was
      necessary because visiting the person in the hospital is weak
      evidence of bias. In fact, whatever “bias” (sympathy for the
      victim) there might have been may have begun with the witnessing of
      brutality. Thus, visiting the person in the hospital is, by itself,
      virtually meaningless. It only takes on meaning if it can be proved
      that the two had a relationship before the incident.

      Finally, the paragraph ends by saying that the testimony is “not
      something we can see as having objectivity, and as such cannot
      possibly believe.” The last phrase in Japanese is “そのまま信用
      することは到底できない。” The word “toutei” is added before
      “dekinai” for additional emphasis. It makes it sound as if the
      testimony is completely and utterly flawed.

      This is very problematic. It seems clear that, at some point, a
      decision was made to disregard the testimony and then that this
      strained logic was employed to justify that disregard.

      Protest is in order.

      Kirk

    3. debito Says:

      FROM A FRIEND, DEBITO:

      Debito, late @ nite, but still strong – here’s one point for you

      >1) In order for a foreigner to sue the State of Japan, the foreigner’s home country >laws must also cover a Japanese in the same situation in that country
      > (page 13 3.1 (1)). I’m not a lawyer, but I would have thought that Japan’s laws
      >apply to everyone equally, including foreign residents, regardless of
      >their country of origin. Fortunately, the judges rule that Valentine’s Nigerian >citizenship does not void his ability to sue the State.

      This is a misinterpretation of the law. International Civil Law is based on the principle of reciprocity. For example, a judgement awarded in country A can be enforced in country B only, if the same laws exist and thus a similar outcome could be expected. Which is why so many lawsuits in the US are directed against subsidiaries of foreign entities, and not against their home offices – courts in othe countries would simply dismiss the suits as groundless…

      Take Germany and Japan – in case of divorce due to adultery, Japanese courts award consolation money (“isharyou”). This cannot be enforced in Germany, as the German Civil Code does not know the guilt factor, which had been abolished in 1977.
      Even in case of decisions and judgements based on similar laws in both countries, the court in the target country must first issue a judgement rendering the foreign judgement locally enforcible. Makes sense.

      The Valentine case, however, does not even remotely come close to touching international civil law, thus the judge should study his law books first…

      A lawyer once told me, that judges are people who have studied the law, but were too stupid to become lawyers…

    4. Chris Says:

      Debito,

      There is definitely something wrong going on here, and I think this case fits perfectly into what you are working toward in Japan.

      However, when I first read your writeup I had the same thoughts as Joe (Comment 1). The judge is not dismissing the testimony because “the witness is African” but rather because the witness’ objectivity is being called into question. Splitting hairs? Well, two of us (who are both on your side) had the same reaction to the wording you used.

      The witness’ objectivity is being called into question because he is seen as part of a community of people who would look out for each other and lie under oath for each other (this is what’s messed up!), not because the judge thinks Africans can’t be trusted in any case. Hypothetically, with this judge, an African witness’ testimony might have been accepted if the plaintiff was Japanese.

      So, the judge is guilty of one form of racism (he assumed that the witness being of the same race as the plaintiff is legally sufficient to dismiss testimony) but is not necessarily guilty of another, more obvious form (“WE CAN’T TRUST THE TESTIMONY OF BLACK PEOPLE”)

      You may wonder why, if I agree that the judge is wrong, I am splitting hairs like this. Well, I happen to be a fan of Michael Moore, but I see him being dismissed and derided so easily by conservatives (and fence-sitters) because of a few minor misrepresentations in his movies. Although his message is true and pure, he loses a lot of potential fans by allowing his enemies to poke holes in his arguments.

      I know that perhaps the judge in this case is racist in both accounts (he really doesn’t believe anything that comes out of a black person’s mouth) but without evidence to support this claim it’s best left unsaid. It’s sufficient to let the world know where there are injustices and let the facts speak for themselves.

      =============================
      –YES, QUITE. I CAPITULATE. THANKS FOR POINTING THAT OUT TO ME. PLEASE ALLOW ME TO ADJUST MY ARGUMENTS TOWARDS YOURS AND JOE’S VEIN LATER ON IF AND WHEN I CAN GET AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED ON THIS ISSUE.

      THANKS AGAIN (SERIOUSLY) FOR GIVING ME FEEDBACK AND FOOD FOR THOUGHT. IT’S DIFFICULT ENOUGH SEEING ALL THESE ANGLES ALL BY MYSELF; MAKES ME HAPPY I PUT THESE THINGS UP FOR PUBLIC SCRUTINY. DEBITO

    5. Matt Dioguardi Says:

      “So, the judge is guilty of one form of racism (he assumed that the witness being of the same race as the plaintiff is legally sufficient to dismiss testimony) but is not necessarily guilty of another, more obvious form (“WE CAN’T TRUST THE TESTIMONY OF BLACK PEOPLE”)”

      Just to emphasize this point …

      The judge was trying to establish a connection between the plaintiff and the witness that would call into question the testimony.

      To do this, he brought up, among other things, the point that they are both Africans in Kabukicho.

      Well, what if they had both been Japanese in Kabukicho?

      Clearly, race is being played like a card to trump the plaintiff and his witness.

      What does this judge know, if anything, about Africans in Kabukicho?

    6. Justin Weiss Says:

      One lesson to take away from this story is: NEVER RUN FROM THE POLICE. Like Chris Rock says, “If the police have to chase you, they’re bringin’ an ass-kicking with them.”

    7. Robs Place Says:

      [...] Hi and welcome to my site: Rob-Thompson.com. It seems like you’re new here, so you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!Debito reports on a court case about a Nigerian, UC Valentine, being denied of medical treatment after police abuse in 2003. Consequently, his leg injury became so medically traumatized that it required complex hospital operations. The case was put on court in 2005 but a testimony of an African was rejected because of his race and the case was dismissed early this year. An appeal has been put forward to High court and tomorrow (July 17) is the first hearing. No TagsPopularity: unranked [?]Share This [...]

    8. debito Says:

      WORD FROM VALENTINE. DEBITO

      I want to say thank you for your article about my case.

      A brief report about my case at the tokyo high court on 17th july 2007.

      The case commenced at about 1.30pm, lasted just about 10 minutes. My lawyer demanded records from the bouhan [crime prevention] camera from the police through the court. again one other Nigerian witness is willing to come and testify against them. Valentine.

      YES, THAT IS ODD. THE TOKYO MET GOV HAS SPENT LOTS OF MONEY ON PUTTING CAMERAS EVERYWHERE IN KABUKICHOU, SURELY THIS PLACE WAS COVERED TOO. IF THERE WAS CONCLUSIVE FOOTAGE EITHER WAY REGARDING WHETHER YOU GOT KICKED OR HIT A SIGN, WHY WASN’T IT PRODUCED (OR WHY DIDN’T THE DISTRICT COURT DEMAND IT)? IF THE POLICE HAD YOU ON CAMERA CRASHING INTO A SIGN, THEY WOULD HAVE PRODUCED IT IN A NEW YORK MINUTE THEMSELVES. SOMETHING REALLY STINKS ABOUT THIS CASE, I MUST SAY. DEBITO

    9. debito Says:

      FURTHER UPDATE FROM VALENTINE JULY 31, 2007: DEBITO

      Hello Debito.

      There is one important thing we fail to mention in this article is about my “KARUTE” [medical chart]. The police refused to submit my karute to the court. They say that the police hospital (Keisatsu Byouin) could not find it. During the court trial the presiding judge once got angry about this, saying that, “This is just a new case. How can you say Valentine’s karute is missing?” The karute is supposed to be kept for many years, but it went missing in an incident only about a year old? The same Judge then handed down his ruling, saying that it is not the duty of the police to keep the karute. That it is the duty of the Kesatsu Byoin Receptionist. Why this matters to me is because this could have been one of the pieces of evidence against them, and that is why they refused to present it to the court.

      Thank you for your report. I was able to get a few people from the AJF (African Japan Forum) to attend my first High Court Hearing. The next Hearing will be by 25th September.

      Valentine

    10. Trans-Pacific Radio » Idubor, the lack of a speedy trial, imprisonment without evidence, and how you can help :: Independent Podcasts from Tokyo, Japan - Japanese News, Politics, Business and Economy Says:

      [...] In addition, he has a spreading and steadily worsening rash on his scalp and is bleeding from the ear.  As in the Valentine case, he is not receiving adequate medical attention. [...]

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