Thursday, December 29, 2011

Outrageous and Unjust Verdict in Usami's Stalking Case

This article is continuation of Mr. Usami’s Court Case.  If you are here for the first time, please read the previous articles.

Mr. Usami was sentenced to 3 months in prison with a 4-year suspended sentence on Tuesday, 27 Dec 2011.  The full text of the verdict won’t be available until next year.  Mr. Kazuhiro Yonemoto, an investigative reporter and author of “Our Unpleasant Neighbors (A book detailingdeprogramming practices in Japan)” posted an article in regards to the verdict.

The following is the translation of Mr. Yonemoto’s article. (Some part may have been omitted or edited by Yoshi.)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Defending Lawyer's Final Defence Plea in Usami Case

The statement goes over 40 pages. Here is a summary and extract of the defending lawyer’s final plea.

If you are here for the first time, please go to my previous article posted a few days ago.  Prosecutor's Opening Statement in Usami Case

The main issue in this Usami’s Stalking Case is “if Usami acted for the purpose to fill the feelings of love”.  The final defense plea spent many pages to verify Usami’s motive and prove that Usami’s acts were not for the purpose of filling the feeling of love, but for the purpose of confirming the partner’s will on marriage, which the defendant and Ms K pleaded and were preparing for.  If filling feelings of love does not exist in Usami’s motive, the anti-stalking control law can’t be applied.

The following is a summary and/or extract of the lawyer's final defence plea.

<General Statement>

  1. The defendant suspected that there’s a possibility that Ms K pretended to renounce the church to be freed from the captivity.   The defendant carried out each act in order to confirm Ms K’s will on marriage, not for the purpose to fill the feelings of love.

  2. Ms K’s intention to cancel the engagement did not reach the defendant or the defendant could not acknowledge Ms K’s notice as her real intention on rational grounds.  At each time of the facts of the charged offences, Ms K was regarded as a fiancee of the defendant.

  3. At the time of the fact No.1 of the charged offences, the defendant did not acknowledge nor expect Ms K was in the car. 
    At the time of fact No.2, the defendant even did not find the car.
    At the time of fact No.3, the defendant saw Ms K, but he just observed Ms K.
    At the time of fact No.4, the defendant witnessed incidentally Ms K as a result, but he did not wait to expect to see Ms K.
    At the time of fact No.5, the defendant unexpectedly saw Ms K, but he did not expect that Ms K was appearing.   Afterwards, the defendant was just waiting at the general waiting area of the sauna facility.

    The above mentioned acts are not the acts to “wait in ambush”, which anti-stalking control law requires.

  4. Lack of criminal intent
    The defendant did not have criminal intent of stalking.

  5. Anti-stalking control law should not be applied to this case.
    Ms K showed a positive attitude towards marriage with the defendant and went missing all of sudden.  As Ms K did not make a direct contact with the defendant, the defendant’s motive was to find her and confirm Ms K’s will.  The defendant’s act differs from the act which the anti-stalking law should control.  It is not appropriate that the anti-stalking law is applied to this case.

<Meaning of “Waiting in ambush”>

“Waiting in ambush” generally means that
1. Knowing or expecting that someone is or may be coming, and
2. Waiting for the person at a particular place in hiding.
In addition, “Waiting in ambush” in the anti-stalking control law should fill the following 3rd requirement.
3. Will to express one’s heart to the other person (for example –  starting to speak to the person)

The defense lawyer spent many pages to counterattack each of the prosecutor’s “facts constituting offenses charged”, and proved that the charged offenses are not stalking activities. (details omitted)

<“Lack of Criminal Intent” in the defendant's acts>

The anti-stalking act 2-2 says “Only when stalking acts deprive victims of physical safety and peace of the dwelling or defame victim’s character or only when the victim feels extreme fear and their freedom of movement is severely restricted, such acts are regarded “stalking acts”.

The defendants acknowledged Ms K’s cancellation of engagement during the time of the fact No.5 in the charged offenses.  Until then, the defendant thought that Ms K was pretending to renounce the church and thought that Ms K should have been glad to know that the defendant was searching for Ms K.  
Even if the defendant’s acts fall in “waiting in ambush” category, the defendant thought Ms K was glad to know the defendant’s actions.  In the defendant’s subjective view, the defendant did not acknowledge that his acts deprived Ms K of physical safety, peace of the dwelling and defamed Ms K.  or caused extreme anxiety enough to restrict her freedom of movement.

Therefore , it is clear that the defendant did not have criminal intent of stalking.   

<Application of the anti-stalking control law to this case>

If someone repeated to contact the partner by phone, email, letters etc in order only to fill the feelings of love, and/or chased or waited in ambush for the partner to demand to reinstate after the person received a clear message of breaking off the relations from one’s partner, this is the case which anti-stalking control law should be applied.

However in this Usami’s case, Ms K had kept intimate relationships with the defendant and had been positive towards the marriage with the defendant until the moment when Ms K went missing all of sudden.  As there were no contacts from Ms K, the defendant searched for Ms K to confirm her will.  This case completely differs from the case which anti-stalking law can control.

<Credibility of prosecutor’s evidences and police record of investigation>

There are inconsistency and contradiction of presented evidences by Ms K and her side including Ms K’s mother and Miyamura(introduced as a Ms K’s friend in this court case*).  

(*Miyamura - He’s a professional deprogrammer.  He was just introduced as a K’s friend in the court.  The defendant lawyer asked a question on Ms K and Miyamura's relattioships and Miyamura’s attribute.  The prosecutors objected to the defending lawyer and the judge agreed with prosecutors by saying the question is nothing to do with the main issues.)

The defendant was forced or pressured to sign the statement (police record of investigation) which was not accurate.  The defendant was told by police, “Your penalty will be lesser if it’s written like this.”  The defendant asked the police to re-write the statement next day, but it was rejected.  The statement (record of investigation) was made by the police and against the defendant’s memory and will, and the credibility of the statement should be denied.


The defendant’s motive was not for the purpose to fill the feelings of love.  The defendant did not have criminal intent of stalking, nor waited in ambush for Ms K.  Therefore stalking acts are not established, and the court should hand down not guilty verdict in a timely and decisive manner.

Mr. Usami’s Final Statement (First half omitted)
What would you do if you were in my situation?

Suppose your family member was abducted by North Korean Agent, and you received a letter saying, “I’m happy now.  Please don’t worry.  Please don’t look for me. ” Are you taking the letter as real?  Do you believe it?  Don’t you look for your family member using all possible ways?  Isn’t it everyone’s heart?

If Ms Kudo became to dislike me and wanted not to be searched, why didn’t she tell me so directly?

My contact details such as email address or phone number are same as before.
I was always ready for Ms Kudo to contact me.  Why didn’t she tell her will or feelings to me clearly and directly?

If she did contact me and did send the message to me clearly, I could understand.  I didn’t bother to look for her by fitting GPS.  GPS mobile phone system is a tool to prevent crimes from occurring before hand or to look for missing child.  I want the court to judge from the background and the purpose.

I wanted to release Ms Kudo who may have suffered in the captivity as quickly as possible.  If I couldn’t use technology when I needed most, what was the technology for?  If I didn’t use the technology, Ms Kudo may have suffered more.  If so, how regrettable it was.

Look at the fact No.1 of the charged offences.  I completely don’t understand why is my act to see the car understood to wait for someone in ambush in order to fill feelings of love.  I didn’t know who were inside, nor saw Ms Kudo.  Even if I saw Ms Kudo, what was filled by such a thing?

Same thing for the 2nd to 4th offence charged.

Let’s pick up 5th offence charged.  Why did the prosecutors say that I filled the feelings of love by visiting the sauna facility where Miyamura and his supporters were or by seeing Ms Kudo.  Also when I started to speak to Ms Kudo, I didn’t demand to reinstate the relationship nor said that we should get married.  

I feel strong indignation about this unjust accusation and rude treatment.  However, I feel very sorry for Ms Kudo, because she was made up by her surroundings.

Ms Kudo was really a warm hearted person.  But now she has become a horrible person. 

Ms Kudo hasn’t got back into society yet, nor has returned to her parents’ home.  Ms Kudo did not initiate to make this situation happen.  I feel she is in the difficult situation which she cannot do but avoid.  I feel she is struggling to survive anyhow by balancing the mental stability.

Again as I mentioned earlier, I repeat that the motive of the series of my act was out of my heart that I wanted to confirm her real heart by seeing face to face, and it was not to fill the selfish feelings of love.

If Ms Kudo felt anxiety by my acts as results after she underwent forcible de-conversion process and changed her position and mind at some stage, I feel very sorry about it.  I clearly remember what she said to me.  She said to me that she wanted to build a happy family with me.  Please do understand that I believed in what she said and that my acts were based on that.

It was possible for Ms Kudo to talk, but she was led on to fighting against me.  It is very regrettable that she was deformed by those who practice forcible de-conversion and say forcible de-conversion does not exit.

What remains in her by dumping her original sincerity, kindness and important things as a human?  Is she really happy now? 

I have nothing to do with Ms Kudo in the future.  I want her to wake up and restore original herself, and I wish she become independent as soon as possible and she spends her natural and constructive life.  I also wish from the bottom of my heart that she return to her parents’ home(*) and become happy.

* Notes by Yoshi - Ms Kudo still lives in an apartment with other ex-UC members near Miyamura (deprogrammer)'s house.

The court decision was handed down at the session starting at 2:30pm on Tue, Dec 27, 2011. Mr. Usami was sentenced to 3 months in prison with a 4-year suspended sentence

According to the information updated on the web, the defending lawyer's every claim was rejected or ignored, and "abduction" and "confinement" were not mentioned at all in the ruling.  

One of the defending lawyers said,"I am not able to accept the ruling totally."  The other defending lawyer said,"It's an outrageous decision."

As soon as I receive the details of the ruling, I'll post it in Enlgish.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Prosecutor's Opening Statement in Usami Case

Mr. Usami and Ms K were both Unification Church members, and they were engaged and attended the Church wedding ceremony in Feb. 2007. They planned to start their married life one year later, and developed a love each other by having dates in various occasions. Their date spot was usually Kita-Senju area in Tokyo.

Ms K disappeared from Mr Usami when she visited her parents’ home on Jan 1, 2008. (Ms K was abducted and confined in an apartment room for deprogramming purpose.  The deprogrammer was Takashi Miyamura.)

Mr. Usami suspected that Ms K was abducted and confined by her family members, and he started to find her.  Mr. Usami contacted the police, but police didn’t help him as they were not married. 

In Dec. 2008 which was one year after her dispearance, the Unification Church Head Office received a piece of letter from Ms K, declaring her intention of withdrawal from the church and cancellation of the engagement.  Mr. Usami suspected that there was a possibility that Ms K was pretending to renounce the faith to be freed as other victims did in the past. Mr. Usami continued the search.

Around April 2010, he had no other way but to install GPS on Ms K’s father car to find her. 

In November 2010, which was 3 year after Ms K’s disappearance, Mr. Usami was able to see and talk to Ms K for a very short time around for a minute.  Mr. Usami confirmed the Ms K’s cancellation of the engagement, and he stopped searching her.

In January 2011, Ms K submitted a written complaint against Mr. Usami in Ogikubo Police, and Mr Usami was arrested on Feb 7, 2011.  The charge was stalking. Court hearing started in May 2011 and concluded with a final defense plea on Nov. 8, 2011, and the court will give a decision next week on Dec.27, 2011.

Prosecutors and defendant’s lawyer drastically opposed each other.  Today I summarized the prosecutor’s opening statement.  I hope I can post Mr. Usami’s lawyers final statement and Mr. Usami's final defense plea by the judgment day.