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S Korean court finds swimmer Tomita guilty of stealing camera

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Initially he admitted stealing the $7,600 camera after police studied images from CCTV cameras at the pool in Incheon.

Doesn't that mean there's a video footage of the theft?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

How can someone deny video footage? Asians don't all look alike.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

I am angry and sad that the court did not accept my side of the story,”

Your side? Evidence says otherwise it seems.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Where is the video? If it shows you doing it, denying will just make you a liar as well. Not smart to hold a higher ground if the whole ship is sinking, just saying...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Video footage has been more reliable than eye witnesses. Didn't he confess when he was in preliminary hearing? With video footage and severak eye witnesses. Very lenient verdict. Court even let him go back to Japan.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

How could he be expected to show "remorse" for something he claims not to have done?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The court will only take the view that he has failed to show a remorseful and penitent attitude - something that judges ponder when they fix penalties and pass sentences.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Hope that he shows true remorse. Jajahahaha

0 ( +4 / -4 )

“I am angry and sad that the court did not accept my side of the story,” Tomita

Right, I think they decided to go with a little thing called 'the truth', rather than your 'side of things'.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Japanese showing remorse towards Korea for wrongdoings? Good luck with that.

-3 ( +14 / -17 )

We can't really hope to ever discover the whole truth in a case like this. All we can say is that there was sufficient evidence to convict him.

We still have absolutely no idea why this talented athlete, with lucrative sponsorship deals, would take the camera. Is he a camera enthusiast or did he have financial problems? Nobody has ever really explained the motive here. But of course you don't need a motive to get a conviction.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

“I am angry and sad that the court did not accept my side of the story,”

It's not Japan, bud. When there's evidence to the contrary you don't just take a celebrity's word, bow, and then 'accept' the denial of being guilty.

He should have been fined several tens of millions of won for wasting the court's time, and for perjury if he claimed in court that he did not steal the camera after admitting that he did (and then being found guilty).

I hope this little punk is kept out of swimming for the rest of his life.

5 ( +17 / -12 )

I sense there is a bit of a cultural issue here, something like this. Admitting a wrongdoing can be done in Japanese culture, but it will tend to taint the wrongdoer permanently. There seems to be no general accepted way that someone can admit they have done wrong and be fully rehabilitated. So for someone like Tomita, who still theoretically has a future ahead of him as a national swimming hero, the only solution is to deny, no matter how strong the evidence. A conviction in a Korean court (Korean, after all) can be brushed away.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

We know the Korean police looked at CCTV footage but we don't know if it caught him red-handed. At least, I don't. I am curious to know what the bar is for a conviction in Korea. Is it a confession? If so, we all know the problems with that, especially when Japanese are faced with authority figures. And in his case he had a clear motive to confess; to get back to Japan. The Korean authorities are probably happy to get the conviction of a Japanese athlete but I am still suspicious about whether justice has been served here. As M3 says, what is the motive?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

it's interesting that the video hasn't been released. i'm not saying he's innocent, but that would certainly go a long way to proving his guilt in the court of public opinion. but he did admit that the camera was in his bag, though.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The CCTV video has been released. You can watch it on youtube.

https://youtu.be/gUTsC7UfzXs

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Admitting a wrongdoing can be done in Japanese culture, but it will tend to taint the wrongdoer permanently

Unless you are a politician taking money or a celebrity convicted of drug abuse.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I believe he didn't steal it.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

They shiwed video of pool side and it went to evicence. He did not bow or things Mixuame mentioned. His head was high. Some Japanese mentioned he is a known cleptmaniiac. Video has been in evidence storage I believe. Large Camera on tripod/ He separated and pit on his large bag. What he said was translated in Japanese/ Other Japanese were bkt sympathetic. Korean court did not penwlixe him (unlike to JapaneseO too muich. : #mizuamr? I did not know Japanese court criminal bows and whatever you wrote to be freed. I tjought they go to jail. Are you sure you are writing about Japan?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Thanks for the video link, M3. It looks damning if not totally conclusive. But the fact that the camera was later found in his bag strongly suggests his guilt though.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Moonraker: "We know the Korean police looked at CCTV footage but we don't know if it caught him red-handed."

I believe the Japenese Swim Team heads also saw the footage in a closed viewing and it was immediately after that they barred him from the team. Obviously what they saw was enough to satisfy them as to Tomita's guilt. If they believed his denial he only would have been barredfromthat meet, not from the team upon return to Japan. What's more, they went on at length about the gall of him in blatantly lying and denying his guilt. If he is ever for some reason reinstated I hope this dogs him everywhere he goes.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

“I am angry and sad that the court did not accept my side of the story

You're angry and sad that the court didn't believe your conflicting lies! Get it right!

0 ( +7 / -7 )

He is a known kleptomaniac, with some Japanese who knew him saying he had a sickness stealing stuff in the past. There's your motive right there. But still many Japanese say he's innocent and the video was manufactured by anti-Japanese Korean police. They say it's impossible, Japanese people don't steal. I just roll my eyes. But we all know Japanese culture have a hard time admitting their faults and instead their blame lies with others. The Japanese swimmer is not only a kleptomaniac, he's also a shameless liar.

10 ( +18 / -8 )

@M3M3M3 @Moonraker The motive could be greed (and the kick on being able to get away from being caught?). A wealthy celebrity shoplift not because he/she can't afford the item. He/she wants it but doesn't want to pay for it? The excitement of living on the edge? Who knows. But the premise that if someone can afford the item they won't steal it is just not true. Maybe they won't if they think and weight carefully. In that split moment, greed, foolishness, and lack of a sense of decency took over.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It doesn't take long for Japanese to start bombarding Youtube with anti-Korean messages, with accusations that anti-Japan Korea manufactured the video to make the Japanese swimmer look bad and to badmouth Japan.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmotetXibxk

So infuriatingly childish. Why is it so hard to admit that a Japanese did something wrong, Japan?

10 ( +16 / -6 )

C'mon, fess up already. You were caught on CCTV candid camera.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

He's guilty.

The SK police didn't come to him first, they went to a member of the swimming team's management and asked to identify the person stealing the camera. The member of the management team identified the culprit as Tomita after viewing the video. Then the SK police allowed the member of that management team to confront Tomita before they did, at which time he admitted his guilt.

A member of my immediate family is part of that management team and they alllll know he did it. And most of them are not that surprised.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

This all would have flew under the radar, and everything would have forgotten about it, if the Japanese side didn't make it into a huge big deal. A number of Koreans didn't even know what happened with this case until this whole farce was blown up in the media's in Japan and Korea, turning what was a minor incident into an international incident. Thank you Japanese nationalists, you're doing a fine job representing your country and giving it a good reputation. To me, the big story here is not this Japanese swimmer and his theft, it's the reactions from the Japanese who are desperately trying to fit their nationalist racist narrative to this incident.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

According to a J TV analysis of the trial, even the Korean jury admitted that they could not be sure that a) the black object being put into the bag was actually the camera in question, and b) that the figure was Tomita.

Tomita originally admitted the theft, but later said that an Asian-looking man had come up behind him as he was sitting there and put the camera into his bag. No such person can be seen in the video.

Multiple personality?

The problem with the video system there is the poor quality of the picture and the lack of any built-in timing evidence in the frames.

The stolen camera was found in his bag, however, and the area was strictly off-limits to anyone without a pass, so any third man would be highly unlikely.

Tomita's eye movements and body language sure do not make him look like someone protesting genuine innocence, though.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

"They say it's impossible, Japanese people don't steal."

They don't lie either. Or cheat on their spouses. He must be innocent.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

Nihonjin uso tsukanai The darn camera is lying !!!

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Tomita after viewing the video. Then the SK police allowed the member of that management team to confront Tomita before they did, at which time he admitted his guilt.

Totally correct. If he was innocent, wouldn't he have said he didn't do it in front of his Japanese management team who confronted him first? Which makes his excuse that he was afraid of Korean police would hold him indefinitely if he didn't admit to the theft, a lie. The Korean criminal code is one of the most lenient system in the world when it comes to jail times. Look how he got off, twice, with a fine for a theft in which he showed absolute no remorse. If I was the judge, I would have put him in jail for at least a year to teach him a lesson. But he got off easy because he was a Japanese foreigner who have been given a wide birth. Even the victim of the theft pleaded for leniency for the Japanese swimmer, saying he doesn't want this to ruin the swimmer's career. So instead of thanking the Korean police, the theft victim, and the judge, the Japanese netizens are carrying out their anti-Korean hate campaign on the internet.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

What's that Japanese saying again? Oh, yeah. "A liar today, a thief tomorrow."

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Nihonjin uso tsukanai The darn camera is lying !!!

It's the same old thing in Japan isn't it? They want evidence and proofs. If you can't provide one, then it's all a lie. But when you give it to them, they say it's fabrication, it's not proof. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. The only so called 'evidence' a Japanese will believe is the one provided by the Japanese criminal who's accused of the crime. Any other foreigners who give evidence are just trying to make Japan look bad.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Probably one of the most fuzzy bits of surveillance footage I have ever seen. Except for the bit of walking in the hallway, I can't see anything pertaining to the actual crime but some figures moving around in the blurry distance. I should think that footage is near useless. However, there is a mountain of circumstantial and witness evidence. I am just concerned that memories may have been tainted by suggestion while being shown that horribly unclear video.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@ Living Memory

Where did you/where can I see the video....... Link pls

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Pretty inconclusive video, blurred in most places. Could not convict anyone on the basis of those out-of-focus, shaky images.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Does the footage show him placing the camera in the bag. No the story say Police studied images. Meaning it was a time lapse of images.The police do not say that the images show him placing the camera in the bag. If you are going to still something why would you do it in front of a cctv. These camera stand out. The Judge made the decision because he admitted to stealing the camera. I would also with such a small fine involved. Getting pressured from the police telling him he will be gaoled if he did not admit to stealing. Also the camera being in his bag and denying stealing it would keep him in prison until the case come before the court. Plus No one knows the relationship between Japan Swimming and the swimmer. It could be no the rocks and this was a way of getting him out of the team. They have never supported him from the beginning. And who goes and leave an $7,000 around to be stolen? This was a set up. By who, only time will tell.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

The video footage on the guy might be stealing was very unclear and out of focus to be identified as Tomita but other footage of Tomita walking around was clear pictures. It seems that the video can't show Tomita did it because the face can't be idetified due to the crime scene is completely out of focus. The stealer could be someone else though he was somewhere there.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

John-San: "This was a set up. By who, only time will tell."

BS! It was the Japanese swim team heads that were shown the video first and asked to identify the person i the video. They identified Tomita. They then allowed his arrest, and they subsequently barred him from competing not only the rest of that event, but also IN JAPAN for at least the next two years! It was also them who said to the media that Tomita's excuses were crazy. Sorry, but if it was a set up the FIRST people to stand behind him would be the Japan swimming association; they would MAYBE uphold a ban from that particular meet, but would immediately hail him as a hero and victim when he got home and have him swimming again immediately! They would be shouting "It's a set up!" like you and other right-wingers out there, not admonishing Tomita further and definitely not saying he's crazy (which his swimmates and friends also said, by the way!).

Face it: he's guilty. A lot of Japanese just can't admit it, especially because he was caught red-handed in South Korea.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

This was a set up. By who, only time will tell.

Maybe he can team up with O.J. to find the real thief? Lol. Come on John-san. The evidence is pretty overwhelming so even if you think this was a set-up, you can only blame Tomita's lawyers for not convincing the court.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Why did not the Police offer this damming video evidence to the Judge. because it would show no evidence. They submitted a confession which the swimmer was pressured to sign before having legal representation. The Police ask Swimming Japan to name the person in the images. They did not tell Swimmer Japan that they are accusing the swimmer of stealing so can you tell us the person in the images. If they did Swimming Japan are obligated to have a legal representative at the interview. This is protocol when ever a Japan representative could bring bad publicity onto Japan especially when concerning South Korea. Swimming Japan have acted after the horse has bolted. Why didn,t Swimmer Japan follow Japanese government protocol? Their could be many reasons which I stated one possibility. And in the end Images that does not show the swimmer stealing anything. So your argument has many faults. It should of been dismiss before it went to court. This is a case of the Great friendship between the two nation. Swimming Japan will follow that line to save face. It a huge cultural thing in Japan if you did not realise Smithy. Like I said only time will tell. It is bit like saying FIFA in a very clean organisation. but only time will tell.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Doesn't that mean there's a video footage of the theft?

There was video footage, but it was very grainy, distant, and impossible to tell who was doing what. Not sure whether he found out how dodgy the video footage was and then changed his story?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@John-san

Why did not the Police offer this damming video evidence to the Judge.

The prosecutor presented the evidence to the jury at the trial.

The Police ask Swimming Japan to name the person in the images. They did not tell Swimmer Japan that they are accusing the swimmer of stealing so can you tell us the person in the images. If they did Swimming Japan are obligated to have a legal representative at the interview.

Absolutely not. The police are gathering evidence and confirming their suspicions. Swimming Japan are not under arrest or suspicion of committing any crime. (Let's be reasonable, I doubt the law in Korea requires everyone to be consulted by a lawyer before they show them a photo and say 'have you seen this guy lurking in the neighborhood?'.)

And in the end Images that does not show the swimmer stealing anything.

You do not need an HD video showing that the camera entered the bag in order to secure a conviction. The jury was entitled to convict Tomita on any evidence that they wished. The fact that the camera was found in his possession and that they found his testimony about how it got there untrustworthy is sufficient. The video might have just been the icing on the cake rather than the decisive piece of evidence.

They submitted a confession which the swimmer was pressured to sign before having legal representation.

What is your source for this, what do the police claim and what does the law in South Korea say?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

What I'm really surprised at is such lowest quality of CCTV cameras (made in Korea? or China?) they are still using for security there. in Japan some places are still using black and while images from CCTV cameras, but images are very clear to be identified, even crime scenes in late evening. I can't believe such meaningless security cameras still there.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

admit - apologize - deny - apologize again - deny again - deny - deny - deny indefinitely...

Now that he's found guilty of the theft at court, his programmed stupid actions continue

The cctv footage was not of Sept 25th the date hes accused.

He will appeal to a higher court because otherwise he is of no use.

When a higher court maintains the original judgment, he might hold hands with anti-korean racist groups in japan and stand as a preacher at every anti-korean rally.
0 ( +4 / -4 )

M3M3M3 I found this in wiki podia

The 18 District Courts have original jurisdiction over most civil and criminal cases. Additionally, the District Court appellate panel may exercise appellate jurisdiction over cases in which a single District Court or Branch Court judge has rendered the decision. In most cases, a single judge hears the case and renders a verdict, although in particularly important or serious cases, a trial panel of three judges may hear the case and render a decision. An appellate panel is also composed of three District Court judges.

So no Jury. Gee where did or didn,t your research. You stated Jury! total different to a Penal of Judge which would bear more weight with your argument.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

3 ( +5 / -2 )

From the Chosun Ilbo's report. Nice photo, and seems fair and balanced.

"The defendant claims that a man sitting behind him put something into his bag, which he identified as a camera later in his hotel room, but evidence including surveillance video footage shows nobody sitting behind him," the court said in the ruling.

http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2015/05/29/2015052901489.html

1 ( +3 / -2 )

OK, so that's how it went. I must quietly wonder, however, that if Koreans were Japanese and Japanese were Koreans in this story, local denizens will not find it slightly more plausible Tomita is framed.

In his favor is that the CCTV quality is truly crap, that even if he has mental aberrations it does take a sustained effort to turn around into resistance. The whole thing does not quite seem to meet the "Beyond Reasonable Doubt" that would be required in a Western court (at least by reputation).

If they believed his denial he only would have been barredfromthat meet, not from the team upon return to Japan.

Perhaps. What is nearly certain is that if they had taken that path, it'd be blasted all over the news, and you would be in the vanguard of those attacking the Swim Team for covering their own, blah blah blah. From a institutional protection perspective, throwing Tomita to the dogs is the right move. His guilt or innocence is secondary.

Then the SK police allowed the member of that management team to confront Tomita before they did, at which time he admitted his guilt.

Here's my question to that, though: Why would anyone, regardless of whether they had done it, admit their guilt there? What's missing from this equation is what happened at that "confrontation". What did they say? Perhaps "If you bite the bullet we'd at least ensure you don't get imprisoned, otherwise we won't lift a finger because we've already laid our money on the side of you being guilty and can hardly turn now?" Without some real benefit or threat being offered, why would anyone kill off their chances early?

I'm not saying he can't be guilty. I'm saying there are sufficient holes in this whole event for not buying it to be at least understandable.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

"There is only one truth. I'm devastated that my explanation wasn't accepted."

Yeah, yeah, yeah, devastated you were caught you were!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Tomita denied theft because he feared he would not be allowed to go home. Its quite obvious that he was not brave and afraid. Tomita was not a honest man. Honesty is the best thing for a situation to end up well because if you lie and people find out, you are likely to end up with many negative consequences. You will not be trusted anymore and that could be very annoying. A dishonest person can never be sure of anything. One needs enough courage and sacrifice to be honest but even then honesty has its value and comes out victorious in the long run.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

M3M3M3 Not in the District courts. No such thing of a Jury in the South Korea District court. Just a trial Judge and in important cases District Court appellate panel. Unlike this trial where only a small fine is issued.Your story is what it is, a Story,here say and what you want to believe not what actually happen. Your were caught out. There was no Jury in his trial not even a District Court appellate panel. Just one bias Judge. I take any of your comments for now on as heresay and guest work, not fact. Why would a Jornalist leave the most import tool with all his work on it in a position were some could steal it. Never. More like The Jorno put it his bag to so he could create the story. Like I said in my first comment. It was a set up

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

It's really unbelievable that Tomita would steal this camera. I want to see the CCTV footage.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

John-San: "Why would a Jornalist leave the most import tool with all his work on it in a position were some could steal it. Never. More like The Jorno put it his bag to so he could create the story. Like I said in my first comment. It was a set up"

So, you guys are SO desperate to avoid admitting obvious guilt that you'll say "there is room for doubt" and then COMPLETELY fabricate conspiracy theories??

And you guys have REFUSED to answer the simple question of why the swim team STILL does not defend Tomita if he's innocent when they're all back and safe in Japan? Let me guess -- ummm... there are specially trained assassins from South Korea, China, and North Korea that slip into the minds of the swim teach heads at night and subliminally disable them from speaking their minds on this issue alone. So, even though the swim team heads KNOW Tomita is innocent and of COURSE want to make it their patriotic duty to march in the streets and declare it, as soon as they start to their lips literally freeze and their bodies receive electric shocks from the dream assassins! Or wait! anti-Japanese historians from around the world are angry that their made up lies are not being accepted by the all-knowing and correct leaders and true patriots of Japan, so they snuck a former comfort wo-- err... prostitute--into the swimming area with a giant camera, got into an unauthorized access through the woman's stealth, and placed it in a bag so mischieviously that Tomita felt only the weight of a few fan pins and did not want to check the bag until much later. They then made a home video on an island off of North Korea with to make it look like someone stealing a camera and gave it to a pro-Pyongyang judge in South Korea, where the everyone is against Japan!

Does that sound about right, guys? It can't possibly be just that Tomita is the thief his friends, coaches, and other people, including Tomita himself, have admitted he is, right?

0 ( +7 / -7 )

@John-san

No such thing of a Jury in the South Korea District court.

District Courts in Korea have Jury Trials.

http://askkorealaw.com/2008/02/15/daegu-district-court-to-hold-koreas-first-jury-based-trial/

.

To be fair John-San, I have to admit that I have no idea if Tomita's case went to a jury, I am assuming it did. If it didn't, then it would have been because Tomita requested a trial by judge (which is is able to do). Either way, please feel free to change the word 'Jury' to 'Judge' in my comments above. It doesn't change the fact that the CCTV evidence was presented and that there is no requirement that the Jury or Judge reach their verdict solely bases on what they can clearly see in the video.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

What happened:

Management team member identified Tomita, then went ALONE to speak with him. He asked this -

"Do you know anything about a theft?"

Tomita immediately confessed to stealing a camera. He literally offered the information up straight away. No one said, oh hey there is a camera missing and they think you took it, did you?...... "Do you know anything about a theft?"

This is why no one is backing him up.

Not to mention the fact that everyone who knows him personally knows that he's a dick, he's creepy, and 'kimoi'.

And anyone who lives in Japan long enough KNOW that if there was ANY doubt of his guilt that the entire association would have used any possible resource to back him up. He did it, and he's DAMN lucky he's not in jail. Let's all move on.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

just a biased judge.

John-san, trials in South Korea has three judges. Juries that confer with the judges would be ordered if the accused is facing serious charges. Japanese complain about how Tomita was treated by the criminal justice system in South Korea, but they are forgetting that international organizations slam Japan's police procedures making their system 'inhumane' and unfair to the accused which makes them guilty before they are found innocent. They rate Japan like a Third World in this regard. There are no such equivalent concerns for South Korea's system, as it's regarded as generally fair system against the accused. If this was a setup, I would have believed it more if this had happened in Japan, and the Japanese police were the ones handling the case.

The evidence is overwhelming, even without the video. They found the camera with him. He says someone put the camera in his bag when he walked off. He didn't stop to peek at his bag when someone did that? Instead he continues to walk all the way to his hotel room. LOL.. His stories are full of holes that reminds you of swiss cheese, yet the Japanese wish him to be innocent.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

The quality of the footage that's been linked here is quite bad but it's also obvious that it was probably recorded by some journalist at court then by the uploader watching the program that aired it using his/her smartphone hence all that multiple moire pattern, which will certainly lower the quality. What's important is that there's no footage of the unidentified person. Tomita's lawyer was allowed early access to the full footage and him not using it only tells one thing, the story was fabricated and there was no other person that supposedly forced the camera into his bag. Tomita never denied the camera being in his possession. So it wasn't planted in his room, he stole it plain and simple.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I just did a search on a Korean news sites (surprisingly little coverage actually), you are right John-san, it was a trial by judge. Apparently Tomita was not entitled to a trial by jury because the punishment that the prosecutor was seeking was too minimal. I'm not sure if that strengthens or undermines your conspiracy theory John-san?... I'm going to assume you think 'strengthens' it somehow!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@savethegaijin: If what you say is true, why isn't the Japan management team speaking publicly now? They should call out the thief publicly and counter his lies. Is the management team being silenced by the Japanese government or interest groups with threats? Please explain. The management team shouldn't allow him to get away with lying to the public now. They should reiterate what really happened.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Are you serious? In the Western courts, he would have been found guilty hundred times over. The evidences were pretty much overwhelming, and this includes the swimmer's two admissions, one to the Japanese swimming federation, and the other to the South Korean police. That alone would have been enough for guilt conviction. Not to mention the camera found in his hotel room, his unbelievable farfetched story, the fact that noone was around him, the theft history of the swimmer recalled by those who personally know him, etc etc. You don't need to have an evidence which clearly shows on video tape, someone committing a crime, to convict anyone of guilt in Western courts. You guys just admit that his thief and a liar, and let's move on. This should not be about nationalist pride issue, yet this is what's turning out to be. It is quite disturbing to see what lengths you will go to defend one of your own, in the name of nationalism.

The whole thing does not quite seem to meet the "Beyond Reasonable Doubt" that would be required in a Western court (at least by reputation).

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@american_bengoshi

From what I've been told they've just been flabbergasted since he came back and started denying it. If they publicly denounced him further, the conspiracy theory anti-korea nutbag crowd would get more attention and the whole thing would get blown out of proportion. And frankly, they think he's nuts. And like anyone else in Japan, when you walk by a crazy person you just turn your head and keep on walking lol

Not to mention they've got the 2020 Olympics to worry about and they don't want to keep crazy Tomita in the front of everyone's minds.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"Why would a Jornalist leave the most import tool with all his work on it in a position were some could steal it. Never.

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Too heavy to carry to toilet? He did not want to wet his ....

He/she did not expect people who are allowed at pool area become precedent of thief in that area?

Blaming a victim instead of a criminal/kreptomaniac?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It seems like this case has garnered much more attention in Japan than it has in Korea. I tried to look up the Korean language version of his Wikipedia page to see what Koreans were saying about him but to my surprise, it doesn't even exist.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

M3M3M3, only Japanese internet go nuts with editing Wiki pages to their likings whenever there's something bad happens in Korea. This is a none story in Korea because nobody cares. What is really a story here, is the way Japanese are using this for their domestic purposes. But even that is not even a story in Korea. If I were the Japanese nationalists, I would just stop embarrassing yourselves, and quietly drop this story, and let this story disappear. But they probably won't. They'll use this story to highlight how anti-Japan, South Korea is, and they'll use it to attack and smear. They'll portray Tomita as a brave innocent martyre who was persecuted by anti-Japanese hate. He was made to pay a fine of $1000. What horrible thing South Korea did.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

"Why would a Jornalist leave the most import tool with all his work on it in a position were some could steal it. Never.

I guess you've never been to South Korea. They leave bags full of money, smartphones, laptops, anything, on tables in public places, while they go pee or to order food, without fear of theft. They leave out whole stacks of merchandises out in the open overnight without fear of thefts. They do it all the time in South Korea because they're pretty confident that no-one will steal them when nobody's looking. It's pretty reasonable to believe why that reporter would just leave his expensive camera out in the open like that.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@Papi

Smartphones and laptops, fair enough, but "bags full of money"???

Who are these rich nutters?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Smartphones and laptops, fair enough, but "bags full of money"???

It's done all the time. I mean about the bags. Nobody knows what's in them because nobody will touch them. The whole point is that leaving the expensive camera unattended is very normal behaviour, so nobody can use that excuse to question the guilt of the swimmer.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

All this news and all of these comments for essentially an $890 fine lol

1 ( +2 / -1 )

bag full of money; narco businessman may leave for carrier picking.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@savethegaijin MAY. 29, 2015 - 08:52PM JST If that's the story they told you ... but I can really understand anyone who won't believe it. I mean, if you stole a camera, and someone asked you "Do you know anything about a theft?" with no other information, you will immediately begin spilling your beans?

@smithinjapan MAY. 29, 2015 - 08:36PM JST

you guys have REFUSED to answer the simple question of why the swim team STILL does not defend Tomita if he's innocent when they're all back and safe in Japan?

Instead of sarcasm, perhaps you should defend why you think in such a scenario that's the only plausible course of action.

Maybe even 30 years back when information didn't quite flow as fast and furious, you can get away with singing one tune in Korea and another tune in Japan. These days, with the Internet, blogging and all that, basically You Can't. Any discrepancy in your attitude will be spotted by someone and immediately blogged or 2-chaned or whatever, and then everyone will slam you.

The Swim Team gained some positive repute for hanging Tomita to dry with lightning speed. Unless some really clear evidence exonerates Tomita, it is just not in their interest to reverse course - in Korea, in Japan, or in heaven for the matter.

BTW, again, it is not that I think it is impossible for him to be guilty. It is in his bag and all that. I do, however, see a very shoddy CCTV even counting the fact it was a film of a film. The shoddier the video is, the easier it is to work with. Further, call me a cynic but I don't think the Koreans can afford to acquitt the guy, not at this point. If there's any way to convict him, that's what will happen.

Either way, however, it doesn't improve the logical quality of this assertion.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Instead of sarcasm, perhaps you should defend why you think in such a scenario that's the only plausible course of action. Instead of burying your head in the sand perhaps you should just face up to reality and get on with it. Nanjing massacre? impossible! Comfort women? How we never! Some Japanese have grown too comfortable with shoving their heads in the sand whenever dark realities don't correspond with their fantasy image of themselves.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Kazuaki: "The Swim Team gained some positive repute for hanging Tomita to dry with lightning speed. Unless some really clear evidence exonerates Tomita, it is just not in their interest to reverse course - in Korea, in Japan, or in heaven for the matter."

They got the positive repute because it was deserved. For a change, in a culture that protects the guilty if they are being threatened with justice from outside, the swim team took the high road and allowed one of their own to face the music for the facts. And you seem to MISS the facts that it was them who fingered him from the video, and to whom he confessed. They don't change course because they know Tomita is a lying sack, and crazy to boot. His friends, too, have said this, and that he is a kleptomaniac. No one is defending him not because it would look back doing a 180, but because Tomita's actions and his character cannot be defended, plain and simple.

"I do, however, see a very shoddy CCTV even counting the fact it was a film of a film."

From the sounds of it what you are seeing is a video of a video, which apparently you don't know means that the quality has been extremely reduced. If you are seeing it, that is a copy of a copy, and probably of a copy. Minimum third generation. The swim team had ZERO trouble fingering Tomita in the video, my friend. That's fact. You likely saw it on 2-channel, which means indeed it 'has been worked with' -- but not by the people you think.

"Further, call me a cynic but I don't think the Koreans can afford to acquitt the guy, not at this point."

Why would they do that when they have more than enough evidence to have found him guilty? What you guys are asking is that he be let go despite the mountains of proof that he is not innocent, and saying that the court is making it political in not doing so when only the Japan side is making it political. This is a non-issue in Korea; in Japan you guys are going ballistic and making sure Tomita never sees the pool again, and the world laughs if they hear about it. You're doing yourselves no favors!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

How could he be expected to show "remorse" for something he claims not to have done?

That's remorse for getting caught.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@toshikoMAY. 30, 2015 - 12:37AM JST You may find this stunning Toshiko but I think I was at the first thread too and yes I saw him.

@smithinjapanMAY. 30, 2015 - 12:32AM JST

The swim team had ZERO trouble fingering Tomita in the video, my friend.

Wow, Smith, you must have some great internal sources the rest of us don't, knowing exactly how much trouble they had identifying Tomita.

To be honest, https://youtu.be/gUTsC7UfzXs - this image is crap. Yes, it is a vid of a screen, but the limiting factor here is clearly the CCTV camera (or a particularly crap storage format) rather than the recapture which is taken reasonably well. It is impossible to really POSIDENT people from this and that's a fact apparently the Korean judge recognized.

I have seen CCTV images myself. I'm sure a quality unit exists somewhere, but all too many of them (including the ones we use) are crap and useless for identifying people, a problem also mentioned in the book "Defending the Guilty".

If the images are just beautiful, I will wholeheartedly praise the Swim Team's action, but if they are casting out one of their own over the crap images I'm seeing, I say politics (or good PR strategy), which is clearly working out for them - they managed to turn a negative into a positive.

For a change, in a culture that protects the guilty if they are being threatened with justice from outside, the swim team took the high road and allowed one of their own to face the music for the facts.

Exactly. However, now that we have this point, the inevitable corollary is that they now have a clear conflict of interest against changing their tone, so your idea that if they think he's innocent they'd change their tone as soon as they hit Japan just does not work.

that he is a kleptomaniac

Frankly, this is a pretty new attack against Tomita. Is this verified by a psychiatrist?

Why would they do that when they have more than enough evidence to have found him guilty?

Actually, the weaknesses of the prosecutor's case were sufficient to generate some commentary in Korea (which is a plus point for Koreans, BTW). http://www.recordchina.co.jp/a105913.html

In essence, it is the crap CCTV image and the circumstantial evidence of finding it in the bag. To add to which Tomita's defense wasn't the best (whatever you think of him, he definitely needs a better lawyer). While that may satisfy preponderance of evidence, to say this is "beyond reasonable doubt" is a real stretch.

Besides, to merely point out where politics will have stood on this issue is not a cause to get that defensive.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Damage has already been done when he admitted to stealing. Main problem now for Tomita is that he has lost his major sponsorship with apparel company Descente. If he pursues this matter, he will have difficult time paying legal fees and making a living. He's a damaged good.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki seems to me that Tomita admits it's him in the screen cap of the hallway video. Then once that is established, following the person entering the pool with the other cam placed in the pool area is sufficient to identify the person as Tomita as there is that exact footage (a man entering the pool area from the hallway). Follow the person from other cam until he sits on the bench, it's still Tomita. I'll admit that's it's impossible to identify it as him just with those individual footage (which the media seems to make you believe even after they show you a nice diagram of the CCTV placement). It also really doesn't matter what exactly he is doing turning back as the camera was found in his room (he even admitted that it was in his possession from the pool). And it's not far fetched to think that he was stealing in that footage as there is no other footage showing how the camera ended up in his bag before he left the pool. The only defense he used was that it was forced into his bag by this unknown person which cannot be found in any of the footage. So if that's not sufficient enough to make him guilty, please kindly explain.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If he is indeed a kleptomaniac, as some are suggesting, then surely that's a defence. In any civilised society, the genuinely mentally ill are treated as such, and not as criminals.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Watch out, he'll have that mic as well , if you're not careful.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It must be Canon 1dx or 1d mark IV. I own many Japanese cameras. It is the fault of Camera manufacturer, not the swimmer. Please stop making good cameras. Germans, I am warning you "Stop making good cameras"

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Professional camera. So my guess is not a cheap canon, Olympus? Journalists' favorite that has button using tripod. He wouldn;t choose cheapy anyone can get in Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think he borrowed it without telling anyone.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Norrowing w/o owner's permission What kind of people use such excuse?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

M3M3M3:

I tried to look up the Korean language version of his Wikipedia page to see what Koreans were saying about him but to my surprise, it doesn't even exist.

I had a look at the Chinese version and even the Chinese couldn't give a damn - just a short article with no mention of his crime. What struck me was that in the introduction of the Japanese entry, it says his hobby is collecting cameras!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Google News says "타 나오야" (Korean for Tomita Naoya) gets 449 hits.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Guilty as charged

1 ( +2 / -1 )

SK Police was extremely professional and courteous to Tomita... It's time to fess up and be a man, you can't deny the evidences it's too damning unless you're a Prime Minister of Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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