M. GARCIA LUIS (age 34)

8th complete ruling of not guilty under the Saiban-in System.

Note: The Mainichi reports "It is rare for a foreigner acquitted by a lower court to be detained subsequently." This is absolutely incorrect. Most foreigners are held for retrial a second time-and quite often found guilty the second time around.

Mexican man appeals against sentence in drug smuggling case

(Mainichi Japan) December 20, 2011

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A 35-year-old Mexican man filed an appeal with the Supreme Court on Monday against a ruling that overturned his initial acquittal and sentenced him to 12 years in prison for attempting to smuggle methamphetamines into Japan, court officials said Tuesday.

The Tokyo High Court ruled on Dec. 8 that Mauricio Garcia Ruiz attempted to receive a package containing about 6 kilograms of the stimulant drug sent by air to Japan from Mexico in September last year. The court also fined him 6 million yen.

It was the second time since the lay judge system began in Japan in 2009 that a district court acquittal by a panel of citizen and professional judges had been overturned by judges on appeal by prosecutors.

裁判員裁判で無罪の被告、2審で逆転有罪 全国2例目




8th complete ruling of not guilty

NOTE: No English reportage on verdict. Why?

JIADEP SUMMARY: The accused was charged with accepting a package containing six kilograms of stimulants and participating in an international cartel.

Prosecutors demanded 15 years and a fine of 8 million yen.


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裁判員裁判で8例目の全面無罪 東京地裁
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High court decides to detain acquitted Mexican man
(Mainichi Japan) July 13, 2011

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Tokyo High Court decided Tuesday to detain a 34-year-old Mexican man as demanded by prosecutors, even though he was found innocent of attempting to smuggle drugs into Japan in an earlier lay judge trial.

The lawyer for Mauricio Garcia Luis (phonetic spelling) said, "It is problematic that (a defendant) is detained again over the same case after he was found not guilty by lay judges."

According to the lawyer, the defendant had overstayed his visa and has been held at an Immigration Bureau facility since a Tokyo District Court ruling on July 1. He was set to be deported, the lawyer said.

It is rare for a foreigner acquitted by a lower court to be detained subsequently. In 2000, the Supreme Court said in a case where the district court had acquitted a Nepali man of burglary and murder that such detention is possible if there are sufficient reasons to assume a defendant's guilt and if there is a risk that the defendant could abscond.

Luis was found not guilty by the district court of attempting to receive a package containing around 6 kilograms of stimulants sent by air from Mexico to Japan. The court looked at his e-mail records and denied that he colluded with a person linked with a crime syndicate to receive the drugs.