youngswagger comments

Posted in: Ghosn's wife says he is suffering 'harsh' treatment in detention center See in context

I actually have experience spending 50 days in detention in a Japanese jail (in a police station, not a prison or a detention centre it should be noted) without ever being indicted.

For those who do not know, Japanese law permits police officers to detain suspects for upwards of 23 days whilst they investigate a crime. Therefore, if you do not confess to an alleged crime at the time of arrest they can keep you locked up for 23 days straight before the prosecutor must decide to release you or indict you. Usually most people crack and think a confession will help them leave the jail sooner but that is not going to benefit.

Japan has a 98% conviction rate for those who confess. It should be noted that the actual conviction rate for those who went to trail but did not confess is actually a lot lower. I remember my lawyer saying it was 50% or less. Somewhw around there.

Fortunately I was released after those 50 days when it was revealed that the Japanese authorities had made a big screw up. I've never gone public with the story but if anybody is looking for a reason insight into what Ghossen may be going through then perhaps I can offer my experience. Whilst I suffered no physical torture there are a lot of underhand tactics the Japanese police force use in order to get what they want. People may be surprised to learn about these things.

Take for example the double charge tactic. Originally I was arrested arrested for "intimidation. They had no evidence to support there claims. Just a poorly Google translated text message. Nevertheless it was their tactic to keep me there for 23 days detained and let me sweat it out, hoping I'd crack.

On the 23rd day I was due to be released when it became clear the prosecutor had nothing concrete with that would work in his favour, so he released me without indictment. But I did not get to leave. I was shown official papers stating I was being released without indictment but then immediately shown a new paper with a new unrelated charge. And so the process began again. 23 days whilst they scrambled to get evidence / a confession. But on the 46th day they finally gave up. Even the police knew they could not keep arresting me without ever indicting me over and over without attracting media suspicion or attention. So they let me go.

At last I was free. My lawyer and those familiar with the case know what an utter farce the whole encounter was. If I had been Japanese you can bet I'd never have gone through such a process.

I left Japan by my own free will 8 months later. But still I cannot forget the experience. It leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. In just 46 days I lost 7kgs also. It is absolutely possible... the food is very low in protein for a male over 180cm tall.

Yes, you can purchase convenience store goods 1x a week but they are just cookies and chips... sometimes curry. You'd need a lot of money to do it frequently. Japan's justice system is very old school. The country is undoubtedly a safe place to live in but there is a dark underbelly to it that few see or experience.

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