Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Govinda Mainali: Amnesty International calls for reform of fundamental flaws in Japan's criminal justice system illustrated by the case.

STORY: "Mainali case must lead to reform of daiyo kangoki system," by Amnesty International. published on July 31, 2012.

GIST: "Amnesty International welcomes today's decision by the Tokyo High Court in the case of Govinda Prasad Mainali. The Court rejected a challenge by the Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office to its previous order in June 2012 directing a retrial in the case of Mainali, imprisoned for the past 15 years for murder.........Although the High Court has ordered a retrial on issues relating to the investigation, Mainali's case also highlights other fundamental flaws in Japan's criminal justice system that remain unaddressed. After the initial arrest in 1997, Mainali's lawyers were not permitted to be present during interrogations. Under the daiyo kangoku (substitute prison) system, suspects are detained for up to 23 days with limited access to a lawyer. Lawyers are not permitted to be present during interrogations. In April 1997, one of Mainali's lawyers tried to visit him at Shibuya Police Station but was refused access by the police, who said that he had been sent to the Prosecutor's office in connection with the murder case. On arriving at the Prosecutor's office, the lawyer was refused access once again and was told that his client was undergoing 'voluntary' interrogation. Mainali told his lawyers that during interrogations conducted in detention during the pre-trial daiyo kangoku system, the police had shaken, pushed, beaten and kicked him and used a table to pin him against a wall. Although the District Court ordered the authorities to pay 350,000 ¥en in damages for the denial of access to the lawyers, there was no independent investigation into Mainali's complaints of ill-treatment. Mainali's case is the latest in a series of miscarriages of justice in Japan and also highlights the serious problems with Japan's daiyo kangoku (substitute prison) system. Amnesty International also calls therefore on the Japanese government to: ** Abolish or reform the daiyo kangoku system to bring into line with international standards; ** Ensure that detainees are entitled to have legal counsel present during interrogation sessions; ** Ensure audio and video recordings and transcripts of all interrogation sessions, including a record of the identity of all persons present. The recordings and transcripts should also be made available to the detainee and their lawyer. ** In addition, establish audio and video surveillance of all areas of custody facilities where detainees may be present, except where this would violate detainees' right to privacy or to confidential communication with their lawyer or with a doctor. Recordings should be kept in secure facilities for a reasonable period and in the event of a complaint be made available for investigators, individuals who have made a complaint and their representatives.".

The entire story can be found at:


For Wikipedia background on this case go to:



I am monitoring this case. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:


Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:


Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.