Tokyo High Prosecutor’s Office stated on August 2nd (JST) that it will not appeal the Tokyo High Court’s decision affirming the ruling to grant a retrial for Govinda Prasad Mainali. The Prosecutor’s Office commented that it could not find a compelling reason to file a Special Appeal to the Supreme Court (since the grounds for Special Appeal are limited). However, they will not change their argument that Mainali is guilty of the 1997 murder in the retrial process.
Division 4 of Tokyo High Court granted Mainali a retrial in June this year, but the Prosecutor’s Office immediately filed an objection. Objection was denied by Division 5 of High Court on July 31st. Read more in my previous post here.
Division 4 of the Tokyo High Court, which also granted a retrial for Mainali, will handle the retrial process. In all the cases where a retrial took place in the past, “not guilty” decisions followed.
Read a detailed report in English from the Daily Yomiuri Online Staff writers Katsuro Oda and Chihiro Iwasaki here.
The Tokyo High Court’s rejection of objections by prosecutors regarding the granting of a retrial to a Nepalese man convicted of murder has made it nearly certain a retrial will be held and that the defendant, who was released from custody in June, will be found not guilty. Continue reading →
Mr. Govinda Prasad Mainali.
Division 5 of the Tokyo High Court denied the objection filed by Tokyo High Public Prosecutor’s Office in Mainali Case, a 1997 murder case, on July 31st (JST). Previous posts about the Mainali Case here, here and here.
Division 4 of the Tokyo High Court granted the petition for retrial for Govinda Mainali, as well as his release from custody last month. The Prosecutor’s Office immediately filed an objection, but the objection was denied today by Division 5 of the same court. The Prosecutor’s Office has until August 6th to file a Special Appeal to the Supreme Court. If the Prosecutor’s Office does not appeal or loses appeal at the Supreme Court, Division 4 of the Tokyo High Court will hold a retrial for Mainali. It has been reported that it is unlikely that the Prosecutor’s Office will appeal.
Mainali was convicted for a murder in 2000. In March 2005, Mainali filed for a retrial to the Tokyo High Court. Later, a new DNA testing was conducted. The new test focused on the semen found on and inside the body of the victim. Fifteen samples from the crime scene were tested, but none of the DNA type matched Mainali’s. The unknown profile from the semen did match that of the two pubic hairs found in the crime scene.
The decision which granted Mainali a retrial in June stated that it was likely that the third person whose DNA was on the victim had a sexual intercourse with the victim and later killed her. In the Objection, the prosecution stated that this new evidence only suggests that the victim had sexual intercourse with this unknown third person on the evening of the incident, but the court today denied this claim as unreasonable. The prosecutors also sought a new DNA testing of a substance on victim’s hand, but the court denied the request.
Media report about today’s decision in Japanese can be found here and here.
Mr. Mainali, on his way back home.
Previous posts on Govinda Mainali’s exoneration in Japan here, here, and here.
While Mainali went back to his home contry (Nepal) after the Tokyo High Court granted his new trial, yet another misconduct by the police in his case was revealed.
From the Japan Times.
Roommate says police forced him to sign false statement indicating Mainali’s guilt
DHULABARI, Nepal — A Nepalese man who shared a Tokyo flat with compatriot Govinda Prasad Mainali, 45, said Monday he was coerced while in detention in Japan to sign a false statement indicating his roommate had murdered a Tokyo woman in 1997 in order to rob her…….
Khadka said he and Mainali were among five Nepalese migrant workers who lived in a building in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward adjacent to the vacant apartment where the woman was murdered. Police found her body 11 days after her death.
“Japanese police wanted to establish that Mainali was desperately in need of money at the time of the murder. They made me sign a statement that said Mainali returned to me a few days after the murder a sum of ¥100,000 that he had borrowed from me in February that year,” Khadka told Kyodo News at his residence in Dhulabari, about 300 km southeast of Kathmandu. Continue reading →
Mainali’s wife and his two daughters.
Here is an article by Minoru Matsutani of the Japan Times on the Mainali Case and the flaws of the Japanese criminal justice system that it highlights (read about the Mainali Case here and here).
It points out some of the problematic features of the Japanese system including: (1) prosecutors withholding evidence which would have cleared the defendant (no Brady rule in Japan), (2) not enough disclosure of the prosecution’s evidence, (3) no law to limit the appeal by the prosecution to a not guilty decision by the court, etc. In addition, there were apparently even more hardships for Mainali, who is a Nepalese.
Mainali is expected to leave Japan for his home country this week.
Mainali case exposes flaws, bias in judicial system –Prosecutors withheld evidence, detained Nepalese after acquittal
Facing retrial, exoneration and freedom after spending 15 years in prison for the 1997 murder of a Tokyo woman — a crime for which he was initially acquitted — Govinda Prasad Mainali could be a case study in the flaws in the nation’s judicial system.
Like other foreigners in violation of their visa status, the Nepalese was placed in immigration detention after his acquittal, pending deportation. But prosecutors had other plans: They made sure he stayed in immigration custody as they retried his case on appeal, bent on a conviction.
To this end, they withheld evidence that would strongly establish reasonable doubt of guilt. In short, they presented, as a spokesman for the state said, what was needed “to prove their case.”
……Mainali lawyer Shozaburo Ishida faulted prosecutors for withholding vital evidence that could have upheld Mainali’s acquittal. Continue reading →