From Japan: Yoel Zev Granted Passport and Visa, Prosecution Expected Not to Appeal

18 Exclusive: Almost a week after Chiba District Court acquitted Yoel Goldstein, Yoel Zev ben Mirel Risa Chava, on charges of drug-smuggling in the infamous saga that began in April 2008, Yoel has been granted a passport and visa from the Israeli consulate in Japan, has learned.

It is hoped that he will return to his home in Eretz Yisroel in the coming days.

As first reported by, last Monday, the Japan court ruled that Yoel was not guilty after he was accused of smuggling drugs into the country. He was acquitted of all 11 charges presented by prosecution. Yoel was facing a possible 15-year prison sentence in addition to a penalty of $65,000.

Following the verdict, Reb Aron Nezri of London and Reb Meilich Bindiner of Antwerp, the tireless askanim who have worked behind the scenes on behalf of the boys in Japan, learned that Yoel was immediately transferred to the Tokyo Immigration Detention Center.

In line with standing practice, immigration officials took 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 last Monday morning, before the verdict, in light of this eventuality.

Immediately, Yoel’s lawyers worked vigorously to obtain a passport and visa so that he could leave the country without delay. The dilemma, has learned, is how to fly him out of the country, as there is no direct flight from Japan to Israel. Flying via Europe has been deemed problematic by the attorneys, because, since Yoel had carried the contraband through Holland on the way to Japan, there is fear that European countries will  demand that Yoel be extradited to that country.

Thus, the only safe way for Yoel to fly would be via a stopover in Korea or through the United States.

In other news, those following the case have breathed a sigh of relief after learning that the prosecutor expressed in private conversation that he was not going to appeal the court’s decision. The prosecution’s office officially has 14 days from last Monday to appeal the verdict at the Tokyo High Court.

All are asked to continue davening for Yoel Zev ben Mirel Risa Chava, as well as Yaakov Yosef ben Reizel, the younger of the two adult bochurim, who received a six-year prison sentence and is pending transfer to Israel as well.

{Shmiel Gellman exclusive to Newscenter}


  1. I’d love to know what zechus the 3 Japanese prisinos had to garner such world attention and this poor friend of mine gets none

  2. How did they get the youngest bochur back to Eretz Yisroel? how can Yaakov Yosef be guilty if Yoel Zev is not? They did the exact same thing!

  3. Why not fly him straight to Korea and wait there to make the connection! Or for that matter to Hong Kong or to Bejing or to any other place but Europe!

  4. when he returns to Bnei Brak i want him to slaughter the animal, dressed as a FRUM man who lined his suitcase with drugs and had gotton him into this trouble in the first place!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. BH. We should be zocheh to have Yoel Zeev Ben Mirel Risa Chava home very soon.

    And please keep davenin for Yaakov Yosef ben Raizel.

  6. #12, becuase Matzav and other frum websites are a bunch of self centered phonies that have an agenda. Its that simple. Read between the lines and your answer will be very clear. of coarse they wont print this response but at least the hypocrites at Matzav will