Monday, August 29, 2011

Verdict from Japan: Not Guilty

Tokyo Japan - Yoel Goldstein, one of the three Israeli bochurim who has been imprisoned in Japan for unintentionally transporting drugs into the country, has just been found not guilty by a Japanese court of law.

Source: VIN News

as Sakurajima Volcano emits some huge explosions


Anonymous said...

> Tokyo Japan - VIN News has confirmed reports emerging from the Chiba district court that Yoel Zev Goldstein, one of the three Israeli bochurim who has been imprisoned in Japan for unintentionally transporting drugs into the country, has been found not guilty by a Japanese court of law.
> According to Ahron Nezri and Meilech Bindinger, who have both dedicated endless hours to this case and are in attendance at the Chiba district court right now, with the judge explaining how he arrived at a verdict of not guilty for Yoel Zev Goldstein.
> As it is not uncommon for Japanese prosecutors to appeal a not-guilty verdict at the high court, the public is requested to daven for Yoel Zev ben Mirel Risa Chava to come home quickly and for the verdict not to be appealed. The prosecutor has fourteen days to lodge an appeal, should he choose to do so.
> Goldstein will to be taken to an immigration center, where it is hoped a temporary visa can be arranged for him, allowing him to leave the country as quickly as possible and minimize the possibility of the not guilty verdict being appealed.
> Arranging a temporary visa is no simple procedure as immigration officers will have to investigate why Goldstein overstayed the 90 day visa he was given when he landed in Japan in April 2008. By simply releasing Goldstein from prison, he will be in violation of immigration law and he will then be taken into custody by immigration who can then prepare the documents necessary for him to leave Japan.

Anonymous said...

The Vulcan erupted because Israeli had been found not guilty. The whole worlds is turning around Israeli, because they are chosen people ;)

joshwaxman said...

Anon beat me to it.

It must be Hashem's displeasure at the not guilty verdict, such that he is punishing Japan...

Devorah said...

And there I was thinking it was celebratory fireworks.

in the vanguard said...

Devorah - thanks for this good news!

shimonmatisyahu said...

For those among the commentors who think that Hashem is displeased with the not guilty verdict; if anything, the opposite is true. I don't know why the vulcano erupted in Japan now. However, what I do know is that ALL three Hasidic boys who traveled to Japan with the suitcases of drugs had no awareness of this, as was proven by a lie detector test. Even if they would have still deserved some punishment - how long are they supposed to suffer for something that someone else who used them as suckers with the full intention of doing this due to being greedy for money? Five years? Ten years? Woe to those who judge others as these Hasidic boys, because on the Yom HaDin - either on the upcoming High Holidays or in the Olam HaEmes - Hashem will judge such people who feel that these Hasidic boys shouldn't continue on with their lives in Israel, get married, and bring Yiddishe Kinderlach into the world - the same way even for their inadvertent Aveiros!

Tidbits of Torah said...

explain yourself Josh! I can't believe I read what you wrote.

Leah said...

Baruch HAshem! BARUCH HASHEM!!!!!!!!!!! Please may Yoes GOldstein come home and the other bochur to come home, too!!!! Safely!

yaak said...

It is B"H good news, assuming no appeal.

I wonder if they got scared after the earthquake - if they were influenced by the calls of Divine retribution.

Leah said...

I am surprised by your comments, Josh, perhaps I do not understand them. Pleae explain.

Devorah said...

I think you'll find that Josh was doling out his regular sarcasm, that's all. :)

Dov Bar-Leib said...

I have no problem with the procedures of Japanese justice for anyone bringing over 30 million dollars in ecstasy pills into their country. But why does it have to take over three years? And now that the court has proven that at least one of the boys brought the pills into the country inadvertantly, will he get compensated for all the time when justice was delayed? The maximum amount of time for carrying out justice in cases like these should be no more than six months. So justice was delayed over 2 1/2 years.

Anonymous said...


Dear Yidden around the world;

חסדי ד':

Bechasdei Shomayim, we and the defence attorneys are glad to report that the Chiba District Court ruled in favour of the defense, and handed down a full acquittal ב"ה for Yoel Zev נ"י.

Immediately upon hearing this good news, we exited the court room for
a few moments, to convey the besuro tovah to the multitudes of Acheinu Bnei Yisroel who were waiting in suspense for the outcome.

Upon hearing the judges verdict we were choked with emotion and
couldn't elaborate. We can now, after closing of the court session,
provide more details of what transpired today, try and reflect on the chasodim geluim, and pray for further siyatta dishmaye.

Justice Prevails:

We congratulate the Japanese Judiciary for diligently seeking the truth, and carefully analysing the many diverse element of defense, - many of which are new concepts to the Japanese - and thereby succeeded in delivering the long awaited innocent verdict.

Prior to Court Session:
Ten minutes before the court session commenced, the leading defence attorney accompanied us to visit Yoel Zev at a meeting room under the court house. Through a glass pane we could communicate with Yoel Zev. It was difficult moments. We didn’t know what words can be said. Looming ahead was G-d forbid a possible guilty verdict of a 15 years prison sentence in addition to a penalty of ¥5,000,000.00 (equating to

After having experienced the disappointment of the verdicts handed to the two other bochurim, Yossy and Yakov Yosef, it was challenging to find the right words of encouragement.

(Yossy, the only juvenile of the three, received a sentence of 5
years, which was what the prosecution had requested from the Judges.
Yossy has since been transferred to Israel, where his sentence was
commuted under conditions and supervision of the Israeli prison


Anonymous said...

Yakov Yosef, the younger of the two adult bochurim, received a 6 year prison sentence from the 13 years demanded by the prosecution. He is pending transfer to Israel. The transfer procedure is well underway.)

What can one say to Yoel Zev moments before his verdict, after having faced the fact that his two friends were handed a guilty verdict?

We tried our best to prepare him for every eventuality, carefully
using only positive quotes of Emunah and Bitachon, and hoping and
praying for the best.

We were most relieved by Yoel Zevs attitude. Yoel Zev said in his
innocent manner: “I don’t know what the material judge will tell us today, but the celestial Judge, shofet kol ho’oretz, will certainly
rule innocent”.

Court Session:

Upon the judges’ entry to the court room, and the customary Japanese bows, the Judge summoned Yoel Zev, using his first name 'Yoel' - uncommon in Japanese courts formalities - and asked him to stand at the pulpit directly in front of the judges.

The judge immediately announced – in Japanese - the verdict: “You are
innocent”. Our personal translator, sitting alongside us, quickly told us in jubilation the courts verdict. The court appointed translator
then translated to Yoel Zev “Atah Zakai”. Upon hearing these words,
Yoel Zev’s father, ourselves, and other yidden with us, shed tears of
jubilation. The relief is indescribable.

Basis of Verdict

The judge than went on to expound his verdict in detail, on the basis
of the defense material, explaining how he concluded his judgement, finding Yoel Zev to be ‘not guilty’.

Some of the pertinent points mentioned by the presiding judge:

Taking into account Yoel Zev’s background, education, the place where he lives, etc.
Residing in the town of Bnei Brak, with mostly ultra-orthodox Jews, no
cinema or similar recreational venues, very low crime rate. Bnei Brak boasts no manned police post and virtually no televisions. The town of Bnei Brak have created a sheltered society with the objective that the youth have limited contact with secular people.

Yoel Zev studied in the Satmar Yeshiva, belonging to the Satmar
community, who are in ways more insular and secluded than mainstream ultra-orthodox Jews.
The Satmar philosophy prohibits the use of Modern Hebrew. Limited
command of the Moder-Hebrew language leads to no understanding of the contemporary use of the word Samim. The ultra-orthodox Jewish press avoid any mention of drug related crime. The youth in the orthodox Jewish community have not seen narcotics, and have no grasp of the street value of narcotics. The orthodox Jewish community is close knit and boasts a high level of social trust. In light of that, no suspicion was raised when this assignment was proposed to the boys.

Anonymous said...

The monetary reward offered to the boys was not reflective of
remuneration of a witting mule.
Recognition and knowledge of the luggage containing a false bottom
does not prove knowledge of the contents of the false bottom.
Countering the prosecutors argument that - would the boys have truly believed that the contents were antiques, they ought to have questioned why the goods were not being shipped by means of a courier; - the judge explained that in the close knit Jewish community it is common practice for such errands to be requested and graciously accepted. The results of polygraph examinations proved lack of knowledge.

The court recognised that along the entire trip, including the
duration of his apprehension in Narita Airport, never did Yoel Zev
exhibit signs of anxiety or nervousness.

Tens of other explanations were presented elaborately by the presiding judge, quoting extensively from the many live witnesses and sworn
affidavits presented by the defense team. These explanations took the better part of two hours.

Closing of Session:

The presiding Judge then apologised – in the name of the Ministry of Justice – for the protracted trial procedure, mentioning that he was
sorry that it had taken from April 2008 until August 2011 to deliver
the innocent verdict.

At the court room today was present the father of Yoel Zev, whom after the judges left the court room, in an emotionally charged atmosphere, immediately recited the brocho one hears upon learning of good tidings, “Hatoiv vehametiv”.

This was followed by a quick succession of handshakes and
congratulations between Yoel Zev, the defence attorneys, the askonim,
and on looking well wishers.

Yoel Zev was then escorted from the court room flanked by two
officials from the Tokyo Immigration Office.

Post Trial Procedures
We accompanied the leading defense attorney to the Chiba Detention
Center to try to meet with Yoel Zev and to guide him on the procedures to follow, however we were pleasantly surprised to learn that we could no longer obtain an audience with him at Chiba since he is immediately being transferred, with all his belongings (clothing and seforim) to the Tokyo Immigration detention centre.

In line with standing practice, immigration officials have taken Yoel Zev into their custody on account of overstaying his 90-day visa in 2008. An explanation to the immigration office stating the cause of Yoel Zev’s delayed exit from Japan was prepared by the legal team, and handed to Yoel Zev this morning (before the verdict), in hope of this eventuality. Attorneys are hopeful this matter will be rectified in an
expeditious fashion and that he will be able to leave the country
without further delay.

At 8 am local time tomorrow morning, we will all being well be meeting with Yoel Zev at the Immigration Centre. This will be the first audience in three and a half years to take place without a glass barrier between us. We hope the immigration clearance will be swift.

The prosecution office have 14 days in which they could to appeal at the Tokyo High Court the district court’s decision to release Yoel Zev.

The choshuve tzibur are asked to continue to be mispallel for Yoel Zev ben Mirel Risa Chava, for his safe return home.

The efforts to achieve today’s verdict were a culmination of so many kind hearted Yidden, across a broad spectrum, at the helm, Dayan
Chid”o Weis of Antwerp, Hagras”h Wosner Shlite, Munkatcher Rebbe
Shlite, HaRav Grossman of Midal Emek, Rabbi Y D Bleich of Kiev, Rabbi B Edery of Tokyo, and lhvbchlc”h Rabbi Aba Dunner z”l, among many other Rabonim, dignitaries, professors, lawyers, and activists from within the Jewish community. An exhaustive list would be appropriate
but quite impossible. We are indebted to them all.


Anonymous said...

Current Status of Yakov Yosef ben Reizel:
Efforts to retain Yakov Yosef's status at the Chiba detention centre until his transfer to Israel were b”h productive.
According to Israeli protocol, one third of the full sentence can be
deducted, and the remaining time can also be commuted as per their
According to this, Yakov Yosef could be out of prison within a few
months from now.
Efforts are well underway towards expediting his return home to Eretz
Yisrael. Please continue to be mispallel for Yaakov Yosef ben Reizel.

May we hear only besuros toivois,

Aron Nezri, London
Meilech Bindinger, Antwerpen

Currently in Tokyo, Japan

Leah said...

Wow! Unbelievable what has come about! i am crying for him- tears of joy! i pray for the release of yaakov Yosef.

yaak said...

Kikar is crediting sending Japanese lawyers to Bnei Brak to see Hareidi life there. They explained to them that illegal drugs are generally foreign to Hareidim and showed them the Ponevezh Yeshiva, which impressed the lawyers. Rav Wosner Shlit"a explained to them that in Judaism, it is prohibited to lie to anyone - even non-Jews, so it wouldn't be possible that Hareidim would trick Japanese authorities.

yaak said...

The above is now on Arutz Sheva here.