Prosecutor's pressure for confession ruled illegal
The Yomiuri Shimbun
Oct. 19, 2006
The Osaka District Court on Tuesday ordered the central government to pay 770,000 yen in compensation and other damages for emotionally distressing a company worker and his wife, who was pressured by a prosecutor to persuade her husband to admit to an obscenity charge.
Shinichiro Takeuchi, of Kochi, and his wife, Yae, filed the suit, demanding 4.4 million yen in compensation for distress caused by the prosecutor.
Presiding Judge Hiroshi Mori ruled the prosecutor had violated the personal rights of the couple, and said it was illegal for the prosecutor to indirectly press Takeuchi to admit to the charge.
Takeuchi, 48, had been indicted on suspicion of molesting a 10-year-old girl while teaching table tennis at a primary school in April 2002.
The prosecutor in charge of Takeuchi's case summoned the defendant's wife to the Kochi District Public Prosecutors Office in November 2002 while the trial was being held. The prosecutor repeatedly told her that if her husband continued to deny the allegation, he would be imprisoned, and demanded that she persuade her husband to confess.
The wife secretly recorded the conversation with a tape recorder and told her husband.
Although Takeuchi was found guilty at the Kochi District Court in March 2003, the Takamatsu High Court overturned the ruling in June 2004, saying the girl's testimony was not credible.