Computer Threat Wrongful Arrest Case


Japanese police admit botching online threat probe but deny forcing the confessions made by the innocent

Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012


Kyodo

Police admitted Friday they bungled their investigations into online threats sent via virus-infected computers of unwitting parties and thus made four wrongful arrests, realizing their error only after the apparent true culprit made contact, but they denied forcing the four to confess.

The Tokyo, Osaka, Kanagawa and Mie prefectural forces released reports of their investigation into the wrongful arrests earlier this year of four people whose computers had initially appeared to be the source of the online threats.

The Kanagawa Prefectural Police said their questioning of a teenager they wrongfully arrested in July on suspicion of posting an email threat on the Yokohama Municipal Government website was inappropriate. They said the attitude of the investigators "may have bemused the minor" who was arrested, but claimed they did not force the suspect into making the confession provided.

In their report, the Kanagawa police also said they relied too much on the Internet protocol address of the email, failed to fully investigate the case, and assumed the university student was the culprit. The investigators and senior police officials have been penalized based on internal rules, they said.

The Metropolitan Police Department said in their report that they could not detect that the man they wrongfully arrested was making false statements, adding the investigators never forced him to confess.

Mie police meanwhile said they failed to investigate whether the man they arrested had a motive to send the threat.

Osaka police said their investigators failed to validate the confession made by the man they wrongfully arrested. They also said investigators lacked the technology and time to analyze all the data on the man's personal computer.

The four innocent people were arrested between July and September after email threats were sent from their computers, which had been infected with malicious software enabling them to be remotely controlled.

The four police departments said they have already apologized to the victims.

Following the release of the reports, the National Police Agency requested that all police forces learn from the wrongful arrests and make every effort to prevent further mishandling.

In October, an unidentified party, claiming to be the real culprit, sent email messages to Tokyo Broadcasting System Television Inc. and a lawyer, giving details of the cases.

The agency has offered a cash reward of up to ¥3 million for information that could pinpoint the culprit.

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Computer Threat Wrongful Arrest Case


Japanese police admit botching online threat probe but deny forcing the confessions made by the innocent

Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012


Kyodo

Police admitted Friday they bungled their investigations into online threats sent via virus-infected computers of unwitting parties and thus made four wrongful arrests, realizing their error only after the apparent true culprit made contact, but they denied forcing the four to confess.

The Tokyo, Osaka, Kanagawa and Mie prefectural forces released reports of their investigation into the wrongful arrests earlier this year of four people whose computers had initially appeared to be the source of the online threats.

The Kanagawa Prefectural Police said their questioning of a teenager they wrongfully arrested in July on suspicion of posting an email threat on the Yokohama Municipal Government website was inappropriate. They said the attitude of the investigators "may have bemused the minor" who was arrested, but claimed they did not force the suspect into making the confession provided.

In their report, the Kanagawa police also said they relied too much on the Internet protocol address of the email, failed to fully investigate the case, and assumed the university student was the culprit. The investigators and senior police officials have been penalized based on internal rules, they said.

The Metropolitan Police Department said in their report that they could not detect that the man they wrongfully arrested was making false statements, adding the investigators never forced him to confess.

Mie police meanwhile said they failed to investigate whether the man they arrested had a motive to send the threat.

Osaka police said their investigators failed to validate the confession made by the man they wrongfully arrested. They also said investigators lacked the technology and time to analyze all the data on the man's personal computer.

The four innocent people were arrested between July and September after email threats were sent from their computers, which had been infected with malicious software enabling them to be remotely controlled.

The four police departments said they have already apologized to the victims.

Following the release of the reports, the National Police Agency requested that all police forces learn from the wrongful arrests and make every effort to prevent further mishandling.

In October, an unidentified party, claiming to be the real culprit, sent email messages to Tokyo Broadcasting System Television Inc. and a lawyer, giving details of the cases.

The agency has offered a cash reward of up to ¥3 million for information that could pinpoint the culprit.

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Father of falsely arrested teen says reversed court decision doesn't ease family's pain


October 31, 2012(Mainichi Japan)

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20121031p2a00m0na020000c.html

The father of a teenager who was falsely arrested and put on probation over an online threat against an elementary school says a family court's reversal of action against the boy has not relieved the pain felt by his family.

The Hamamatsu branch of the Shizuoka Family Court reversed a probation order against the 19-year-old on Oct. 30, after it emerged that his computer had been remotely operated and that he had been falsely accused.

But in a statement released through lawyers, the father of the teen said the family's suffering and emotional pain remained.

"Police and prosecutors admitted to the false arrest and the family court annulled the probation order, but the suffering and emotional pain of our son and our family will never be relieved. The saddest thing is, as a parent, having doubted my son's innocence," the statement said.

The father added, "This case highlights inherent, structural problems with police. The police, who should be protecting citizens, unleashed false accusations against an innocent citizen -- and a minor at that -- as a result of inattention in their investigation -- something that should never happen."

Investigative sources told the Mainichi that during questioning by Kanagawa Prefectural Police, investigators alleged that the teen took only two seconds to post the threat against the elementary school. The 19-year-old pointed out that this would have been impossible, but police refused to listen to him, saying that he could have prepared the threat in advance. The topic reportedly did not come up again in the investigation.

In his statement the father said that prefectural police and the Yokohama District Public Prosecutors Office had confronted the boy with a spate of irrational questions, and criticized their technical expertise, saying that the computer skills of the real criminal were "far superior."

The unusual reversal of the family court decision is on par with a formal retrial reversing a finalized guilty verdict against a defendant, and the case shows that both investigative authorities and the court earlier failed to see through the false charges against the 19-year-old. The teen was one of four people falsely arrested by police in four prefectures. In the other three cases, the charges were dropped before a decision was made in court, or no indictment was served in the first place.

When questioned by the Mainichi about the possibility of an apology to the 19-year-old over the false judgment and a probe into the case, a Shizuoka Family Court representative said it was not possible to comment on individual cases.

Toshio Sawanobori, a professor emeritus at Kokugakuin University, said that annulment of action against a defendant is something that should not have to happen.

"I imagine that the false decision was reached because the family court judged the case with a preconceived notion from the investigation results. Young people have a tendency to act in a way to please others, and so a careful approach is needed. The family court should go back to its original stance of approaching investigators' claims with doubt," he said.




PC遠隔操作:誤認逮捕「痛み癒えぬ」男性の父が文書

毎日新聞 20121031日 0031

 横浜市のホームページ(HP)に小学校襲撃予告が書き込まれた事件で、静岡家裁浜松支部=桐ケ谷(きりがや)敬三裁判官=は30日、威力業務妨害の非行内容で送致された男性(19)の保護観察処分(8月15日付)を取り消す決定を出した。決定を受け男性の父親は「息子本人と家族の苦悩と心の痛みは決して癒えない」などと記した文書を弁護士を通じて出した。男性側が初めて胸の内を明らかにした。【平塚雄太、山田麻未、山下俊輔】

 ◇保護観察処分を取り消し

 また、男性が神奈川県警の取り調べで、わずか2秒間で予告が書き込まれたことを示す資料を見せられ「2秒じゃ(書き込みは)無理じゃないですか」と反論していたことが、捜査関係者への取材で分かった。捜査員は「事前に文面を作っておけば可能じゃないか」と取り合わず、この問題はその後触れられなかったという。

 父親は文書で、県警や横浜地検の調べを「理不尽な質問で繰り返し問い詰められ続けました」「真犯人の方がはるかにすぐれたコンピューターの技量を持っている」と批判している。

 浜松支部の決定は、刑事裁判の再審無罪判決に当たる異例の司法判断だ。横浜地検が誤認逮捕と認め今月23日に取り消しを求めていた。捜査当局に加え裁判所も冤罪(えんざい)を見抜けなかったことになる。

 ウイルス感染したパソコン(PC)などから遠隔操作で犯罪予告が書き込まれた一連の事件では、4都府県の警察が計4人を誤認逮捕、男性以外の3人は裁判所の判決が下る前に、起訴取り消しや不起訴処分となった。

 決定は検察側の請求を基に、真犯人は「犯行声明」の人物である可能性が極めて高いと指摘し「男性が非行内容を犯したと認めるに足りる証拠がない」と述べた。

 静岡家裁総務課は、男性への謝罪や誤判の検証に関する取材に対し「個別事件についてはコメントできない」と繰り返した。

 ◇最も悲しいのは息子の無実疑ったこと

 男性の父親が弁護士を通じて出した文書の要旨は次の通り。

 大学生の息子は、学業半ばにして深夜突然、連行・逮捕されました。強い否認にもかかわらず、十分なパソコンデータの解析も行われないまま、警察・検察双方からの不当な圧力を受け、理不尽な質問で繰り返し問い詰められ続けました。「自分がやった」という自供をし、保護観察処分となりました。真実を封印しながら生きていくことを選んだ息子の胸中を察すると、親としては断腸の思いです。

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