Japan Update: Closing Arguments This Monday in Yaakov Yosef’s Appeal


japan-ben-shachar-lawyersThis Monday, closing arguments will be heard at the Tokyo High Court in the appeals case of Yaakov Yosef ben Raizel, one of the three bochurim arrested on April 3, 2008, in Japan for carrying drugs in their suitcases.

The only juvenile of the three bochurim arrested two years ago in Japan was recently released from an Israeli jail to where he was extradited. Yidden around the world continue to plead for mercy for the older two bochurim who, since they were older than age 18 upon their arrival in Japan, are facing a much harsher and lengthier sentence, with forced labor.

Yaakov Yosef received a six-year prison sentence from Judge Hikosaka Takanori on March 24 of last year.

At Yaakov Yosef’s appeal, Professor Gershon Ben-Shachar, the world’s leading expert in polygraph research, testified, refuting the claims of Ms. Reiko Suzuki, the polygraph examiner who had administered the polygraph tests at the request of the Japanese police to all three boys and had argued, post-facto, that the results were not conclusive.

Ben-Shachar stated that Suzuki’s claims are “not based on science and contradict existing scientific data.”

Ben-Shachar answered numerous questions posed by Judge Akira Kanaya and the prosecutor, Tadao Ogawa, making a clear case that Yaakov Yosef and the two other boys were unaware of the contents of the suitcases they were asked to transport from Amsterdam to Tokyo, Japan. The lie detector tests, he said, show without any doubt that the boys had absolutely no knowledge whatsoever that they were carrying illegitimate drugs.

Professor Ben-Shachar explained to the court that with Japan possessing the most sensitive lie detector tests in the world, it is virtually impossible that all three boys passed the test while having any knowledge of what they had transported.

At Yaakov Yosef’s trial, Suzuki had claimed that despite the fact that the boys has passed their respective tests with flying colors, the test was not conclusive insofar as it did not exclude the possibility of “vague knowledge.”

At the time, she was refuted in court by the number-one polygraph expert in Japan, Dr. Takehiko Yamamura, who quoted Professor Ben-Shachar to show why her claims were unfounded. She was later also refuted by Californian polygraph expert Rex Beaber.

Ben-Schachar cited several publications and demonstrated to the court that, on the contrary, the polygraph examination would even detect a 20% inference, suspicion or guess.

Ms. Suzuki later took the witness stand in her quest to defend her position that passing a polygraph test does not preclude the possibility of “vague knowledge” in the subjects being tested.

Ms. Suzuki’s hour-and-a-half long examination by the prosecutor proceeded in an atypical and seemingly surprising fashion, with 90% of the questions apparently having been prepared in advance to only require one-word answers from Ms. Suzuki, such as “Yes,” “No,” and “Of course,” in her attempt to avoid ensnaring herself in her effort to challenge Professor Gershon Ben-Shachar’s scientifically-based testimony which clearly proved that CIT testing is accurate, even in the case of vague knowledge.

Mr. Takano, the lead lawyer for the defense team, cross-examined Ms. Suzuki for an hour-and-a-half, with Ms. Suzuki being extremely evasive in her responses. The defense team detected at least two outright lies and several contradictions in her testimony, which will be clearly highlighted at the closing arguments this Monday.

Professor Ben-Shachar has since written a letter to the court asking the judges to ignore Ms. Suzuki’s baseless arguments.

In the trial of Yoel Zev ben Mirel Risa Chava, Judge Masanori Hodoko – who had replaced Judge Hiroshi Furuta – has agreed to incorporate the trial records of Ben-Shachar’s testimony at Yaakov Yosef’s appeal into Yoel Zev’s case. Closinjg arguments in that case are set for April 5.

All are asked to continue davening for Yaakov Yosef ben Raizel and Yoel Zev ben Mirel Risa Chava and learning Torah in their zechus.

{Yossi Schneider-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. The Israeli government has sent a field hospital to help the Japanese sunami victims. The Japanese court should show some gratitude and release these boys.

  2. Shmuel: I made the same comment on an another thread. YOU ARE CORRECT!!! Medinat Yisroel should ask the release of these bachurim as payment.

  3. Thats the resaon y japan got a tsunami and earthquake. Just release them and all is good.


    All is good? You mean the thousands of innocent men, women and children who died — people who never heard of the Israeli bochurim, but died anyway — they will come back to life?