Russian Aquitted of Robbery
(Kyodo) Wednesday, March 19, 2008

TOYAMA — The Toyama District Court on Tuesday acquitted a Russian national who had been accused of robbing a used-car dealership, injuring the manager and an employee and making away with about 2.3 million yen in cash in Imizu, Toyama Prefecture, along the Sea of Japan coast, in March 2006. Judge Masato Tesaki cleared Vladimir Shilov, 32, of robbery and causing injury, negating the credibility of his depositions taken by police investigators.

Judge Tesaki said in the decision, "There is a suspicion that the defendant confessed under investigators' threatening words and behavior and also that the defendant was influenced by the investigators' unjust leading questionings." Another Russian man, Alexander Mironov, 31, who was indicted as the main culprit, has already been sentenced to seven years in prison. Shilov pleaded innocent throughout his trial. Prosecutors had argued that the defendant helped Mironov by acting as a lookout.