Osaka High Court rejected the appeal by the prosecutor today, and ordered release of two petitioners (serving life sentences) in a high profile arson case, Higashi Sumiyoshi Case. Read about the case here.
In this case, the Osaka District Court ruled to grant a retrial in 2012. The Presiding Judge stated in the decision that the petitioners’ confessions were unreliable and unreasonable from a “scientific viewpoint”, taking into consideration the result of a new experiment by experts.
However, to the dismay of the supporters, the prosecutors instantly appealed the ruling, and the retrial petition was being reviewed by the Osaka High Court.
Osaka High Court today ruled that according to additional experiments and statements by experts, the confessions by peritioners can no longer be evaluated as reliable. It also ordered release of petitioners from prisons.
The criminal procedure code in Japan writes that the prosecutors can still appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.