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(Apr 02, 2008) It has sometimes been argued in court proceedings that police officers or public prosecutors forced or led certain contents of written declarations of suspects. In Japan, police officers or public prosecutors draft written declarations of suspects while questioning them and suspects sign the declarations. To prove that a suspect voluntarily stated the contents of the declaration when it is disputed, in July 2006 prosecutors established a test program to videotape part of the interrogations. It was reported that videotaping was done in 170 cases until July 2007. Among these 170 cases, three were actually submitted as evidence to the courts. In two out of the three cases, the courts approved the eligibility or trustworthiness of the written declarations. In one case, the court found that the prosecutor lead the statement, so that the confession was not voluntarily made. (Kensatsu torisirabe no rokuon/rokuga, 1 nen han de 170 ken [170 videotapings of prosecutors' questioning during one-and-a-half-year period], YOMIURI ONLINE, Jan. 28, 2008 (on file with author).)

Author: Sayuri Umeda More by this author
Topic: Crime and law enforcement More on this topic
Jurisdiction: Japan More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 04/02/2008