Monday, April 11, 2011

"Minister tells prosecutors to record all interrogations on trial basis"

Follow up to the Presumed Guilty thread; article from today's Japan Today:

Justice Minister Satsuki Eda has told Prosecutor General Haruo Kasama to make audio and video recordings of all interrogations by prosecutors of suspects on a trial basis as part of efforts to reform the nation’s prosecution system.

In response to the instructions, Kasama said that prosecution investigative teams will proactively make trial recordings of their interrogations of suspects in some cases to examine how that would affect investigations.

Kasama also said a task force was set up at the Supreme Public Prosecutors Office on Friday to promote the reform of the prosecution system which was damaged last year by an evidence tampering and coverup scandal related to an investigation into abuse of the postal discount system.

The Supreme Prosecutors Office has already decided to make such recordings of some parts of interrogations of suspects by elite investigative teams in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya as well as for cases 
subject to citizen judge trials.

Eda’s nine-point instructions also include the establishment of an in-house inspection team within prosecutors’ offices to check on prosecutors and for outside experts to be invited to provide advice.

The instructions were in line with recent proposals by a government advisory panel to the justice minister for expanding the scope of audio and video recordings of interrogations.

While asking the prosecutor general to file a progress report in about a year, Eda also instructed his ministry to begin preparations to consult with the Legislative Council to establish a new criminal justice system. 

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