Sayama International Solidarity Campaign
Judge Ichitaro Ono (Fourth Criminal Division, Tokyo High Court, Japan)
The International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR)
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– An appeal for retrial and reinvestigation
The third petition for retrial of the Sayama Case has been filed with the Tokyo High Court, more than 43 years after the case arose in 1963. The Sayama Case raises many doubts, even from a laypersonfs perspective. There is no conclusive material evidence, and there are too many unnatural and illogical points in the defendantfs confession. It is inconceivable that Kazuo Ishikawa, who had little training in writing, could have written the ransom note. The process by which the fountain pen was found is also extremely suspect.
The Sayama Legal Team has already submitted a large amount of new evidence, including handwriting, footprint, and forensic analyses, that raises reasonable doubt about the decision by which Ishikawa was found guilty. The third petition for retrial includes further new evidence such as handwriting analysis, and demands that the case be reinvestigated and that all evidence be given a comprehensive review. The courts have not reinvestigated the case since the October 1974 decision, over 30 years ago. The fact that so much time has been allowed to pass without a reinvestigation of the case or disclosure of evidence by the prosecution makes it impossible to call this a gjust and fair trial,h as accorded by the Constitution.
Based on the principle within the retrial system of gaid to the innocenth and the criminal courtsf cardinal rule of gthe benefit of doubt,h we petition the Tokyo High Court to retry the Sayama case and conduct a reinvestigation thereof, including the questioning of witnesses and inspection of the crime scene.
A call for action by:
Akagawa Jirou (writer), Ishikawa Bunyou (news cameraman), Ishizaka (cartoonist), Irikawa Yasunori (actor), Irokawa Daikichi (historian), Ei Rokusuke (radio personality), Emori Youkou (journalist), Oda Makoto (writer), Kamata Satoshi (reporter), Kawasaki Hideaki (professor, Kwansei Gakuin University), Saitou Takao (journalist), Saotome Katsumoto (author), Sakata Akira (musician), Saki Ryuuzou (writer), Sataka Makoto (commentator), Satou Kei (performer), Satou Tadao (film critic), Sano You (writer), Sawachi Hisae (writer), Shindou Kaneto (film director), Tsukasa Osamu (painter), Tujii Takashi (writer), Tsurumi Shunsuke (philosopher), Torigoe Shuntarou (gnewspersonh), Nakayama Chinatsu (writer), Niwayama Hideo (lawyer, former professor at Senshu University), Noda Masaaki (professor, Kwansei Gakuin University), Haitani Kenjirou (writer), Haryuu Ichirou (commentator), Hidaka Rokurou (commentator), Honda Katsuichi (journalist), Maeda Kenji (film director), Maeda Tetsuo (journalist), Masuda Reiko (journalist), Mushakoji Kinhide (director, Centre for Asia Pacific Partnership, Osaka University of Economics and Law), Yakumitsuru (cartoonist)