Friday, March 09, 2007

Seven hundred and thirty-seven... the number of the day.

737 = number of hours police spent questioning one defendant, trying to get her to confess to vote buying on behalf of a candidate in the April 2003 Kumamoto prefectural assembly election. Others arrested in the purported vote buying scheme, some of them men and women in their 70s, were questioned for over 500 hours.

395 = number of days one defendant spent in jail under administrative detention

With unrelenting pressure applied, the 12 defendants signed police-concocted confessions. However, the judge, looking at the evidence presented, found all the defendants not guilty on February 23.

In the verdict, the judge excoriated the actions of the police, writing:

"There was no objective physical evidence* and it is doubtful that the 'meetings to buy votes' ever took place."
* kyakkanteki na shōko - a phrase that seems to be popping up all over nowadays

Yesterday all 11 surviving defendants in the case were delivered from double jeopardy when the prefectural police headquarters chose not to appeal the verdict.

Banzai! Banzai! Banzai!

No, I do not believe the nation's policemen (I reserve judgment on the female members of the force) have the slightest idea what their job is supposed to be.

Why do you ask?

The Asahi Shimbun has more of the gory details.

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