135 Agreements by Lawyers of the Whole Country
More than 1800 Signatures from a Union
135 agreements by lawyers of Japan were sent in sequence, and our team received more than 1800 signatures from Rentai Union Kansai District of Ready-mixed Concrete, in Osaka.
Moreover the people who came to the Fumiaki Hoshino art exhibitions and the meetings contributed to collect the thousands of signatures from their family, friends, and colleagues.
----October 29, 1997, the first retrial of Govinda Prasad Mainali, Nepali, was held in Tokyo High Court. He was falsely accused for "Tokyo Electric Power Co. Employee's Murder Case".
This is an interview with Ms. Mikiko Kyakuno, the Executive Director of Justice for Govinda Innocence Advocacy Group.----
The Road to Victory of the Retrial of Govinda Prasad Mainali
<What was your motive to support for Govinda?>
I was a volunteer to meet the foreigners who were confined in the Tokyo detention center in June, 1994.
In July, 2000, even though the first verdict was given not guilty, Govinda was remanded to custody.
To hear he was depressed, I went to meet him for the first time. He asked me, "I did not do it, so please help me!" End of the year, he has become to reverse guilty in the second trial.
I felt certain that this person was innocent, and I formed "Justice for Govinda Innocence Advocacy Group" in March of the following year.
In 2003, Govinda was sentenced to life imprisonment, and has been moved to Yokohama prison.
Since 2005, I was able to visit him as his guarantor on a regular basis.
There was a time when visitation restriction had been eased by the abolition of the Prison Act, while supporters were able to meet; a total of more than 30 people met him.
The regulation has been tightened again since 2008. Only one other supporter and I as garantors were allowed to meet him.
We have been supporting his family as well as himself, so we helped his wife Radha visit Japan to meet his husband more than 10 times since 2001.
To help reduce Govinda's concern about his family, we finacially supported the family as much as possible, such as his children's tuition and medical expenses .
<What was the process to the retrial?>
There was no significant progress because the chief judges were replaced with new judges a few times during 2005 trials.
From 2009, the court had shown more positive attitude to the disclosure of evidences (DNA evidences in particular). I think the impact of Ashikaga incident also influenced this case.
Then, in July, 2012, one crucial DNA evidence proved that it was a "crime of another person." The fluids left in the body of the victim were not Govinda's, and the DNA taken from the hair, which was left behind on the scene, matched with the fluids.
The police and the procecution still continued pursuing to the "Govinda criminal theory." In September, prosecutors issued 42 DNA evidences. They seemed to use them against the DNA test.
Nevertheless, contrary to their expectation, Govinda's DNA was not detected, and his innocence is now more apparent.
<Then you've won the retrial. >
Retrial was granted on June 7, 2012. Remission of execution was also approved, and Govinda was able to return to his home country.
August 7, objection trial also ended abruptly, and retrial was settled.
The DNA of the culprit was found from the finger nails of the victims. Then prosecution was finally forced to withdraw their claims.
Prosecution is likely to claim innocence at the first trial on October 29.
And yet, they are saying that they do not owe an apologize to Govinda.
<What do you think about the significance of the discovery?>
Since 3.11, the catastrophe of 2012, the situation has greatly changed. No one trusts authorities. Even court of law had believed the safety of nuclear power plant, they all collapsed, and many people now think, "We had been deceived by them."
To win the discovery, the power of movement is important. With the system now, the prosecution does not have to present an evidence favorable to the accused.
So "legally" false charge would be justified in the present legal system.
Is this what may be forgiven? No! Let's call on the community widely to not allow this!
<Do you have a message to Fumiaki Hoshino?>
"There is a hope in the innocence. He may even be released as early as tomorrow," Shoji Sakurai, who has been aquitted on retrial of Fukawa-incident, sent these words to Govinda when he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Govinda was encouraged by hearing this. It now came to reality.
If you keep struggling against your problems, you will have a chance of winning.
Please keep it up!
Yusuke Saito, Chairman of Post Non-Regular Union Tried to Meet Fumiaki
On October 10, ten people including Yusuke Saito, Chairman of Post Non-Regular Union tried to apply to meet Fumiaki on behalf of the youth volunteers, but the prison authorities refused him unfairly.
While Mr. Saito I were protesting against the prison, other people were registering giving stuff to Fumiaki, and Mr. Akinori Masuue was walking around the prison.
I was the only person who met Fumiaki this time.
Just after we saw each other, Fumiaki said "I waited for you for an hour. I thought you have been held out."
After I explained him about the authorities' acts, Fumiaki began talking to me as if he is talking to Yuusuke Saito.
Whether non-regular workers stand up or not has been a decisive factor of whether everyone stand up or not. Although it does not happen soon, it would soon spread like the wild fire across a prairie.
Shin Tomita, in Okinawa, says that union for non-regular has made.
"There are many people that are encouraged by your struggle," said Yuusuke Saito,
"I want you keep it up! "
October 11 was our second day of the meeting. "Tomorrow is athretic meeting in the prison here. You may be able to see the students of elementary schools or children in kindergartens dancing Awa-dance," said Fumiaki.
When we get back to the topic about non-regular workers we mentiond yesterday, he emphasized that the government will create ninty percent of employment into non-legular workers, and they believe it's not difficult to happen. So we must make a situation not happen. That is significant."
I reported him about 10.7 Sanrizuka meeting, and told him that Mr. Kouji Kitahara looked fine.
It is outrageous that the court denies people's rights of cultivation. 10.7 rally insisted that taking away people's rights to live is preposterous."
We mentioned about emotional leeway we have been having as a topic in these months.
"I have been telling you, Akiko, that let's try to relax having mental leeway is important, but I found that's necessary for me as well.
In the situation of life imprisonment, not being able to foresee the future, I only had impatience and anxiety.
But now, I have been more brighten with my prospects. I can stay on top of everything. I have changed. I learned something since I saw your recent improvement, and I was convinced that I could be going along."
People who create the future of society are workers themselves
October 12 was the third day of my visitation. The athletic meeting was rained out.
"I hear that your Tokushima Visitation (Diary) in Free Hoshino News is popular among the readers.
Many people got a power from your diary. The reason why they are impressed is that you are creating rich comments after you overcame from being suppressed.
What I like best is the poem <Urizun> in the Hoshino Calendar, although I did not read all of your poems because some were not allowed to read.
My painting skill is getting better." He smiled saying so.
I went to interview with the people in the Eastern Japan in order to write my poems to suit Fumiaki's paintings named "The Disaster Area Trilogy" since Fumiaki cannot come out of prison to do the same. The production made us keenly aware of the constraints of painting in prison.
"People who create the future of society are workers themselves. We must trust everyone having hope and love to human beings. I want to live together with Akiko with feel of your love.
I want to make 11.4 and 11.23 where people enjoy their feelings of their loves and hopes.
A real struggle begins from where something has been forced. And we will transform the society by creating a power to unite the real thing. I am struggling against the life inprisonment in spirit." I want Doro-Chiba and Doro-Mito to fight in that same spirit. When Fumiaki said so, the time ran out.