Saturday, October 15, 2005

Justice system flawed by presumed guilt

Rights advocates slam interrogation without counsel, long detentions

from the Japan Times
Japan's criminal justice system lacks a fundamental notion that is manifest in other parts of the democratized world: the presumption of innocence, according to human rights advocates.

Suspects are still forced to make false confessions during interrogations in which legal representation is banned, and custody can last up to 23 days before charges are filed, lawyers and people who claim to have or were determined to have been falsely accused told a recent public meeting in Tokyo held by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations.

Arrested suspects are often detained in a police "daiyo kangoku" substitute prison for up to 23 days before indictment, and release on bail is unlikely as long as they plead innocent or remain silent.

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