Professor Gershon Ben-Shachar Gives Crucial Testimony in Japan


japan-bochurimYesterday, Wednesday, Professor Gershon Ben-Shachar, the world’s leading expert in polygraph research, testified on behalf of Yaakov Yosef ben Raizel Greenwald, one of the three boys in Japan who was sentenced on March 24 to six years in prison.

As part of the appeal, Professor Gershon Ben-Shachar testified, refuting the claims of Ms. Reiko Suzuki, the woman who had administered the polygraph tests to all three boys and had argued that the results of such testing are not necessarily accurate.

Professor Ben-Shachar, who was introduced to the court by defense attorney Takashi Takano, stated during his four hours of testimony at the Tokyo High Court that Suzuki’s claims are “scientifically unsound.”

Professor 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 were unaware of the false bottoms of the suitcases which contained $3.6 million worth of ecstasy pills.

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. In fact, while Professor Ben-Shachar has said that he is not in favor of using lie detector testing as testimony in general, the Japanese tests are so accurate that they are the only ones he deems to be exact enough to be utilized in a court of law.

At Yaakov Yosef’s trial, Suzuki had claimed that despite the fact that the boys has passed their respective tests, the tests aren’t 100%  reliable and might not pick up on “vague” knowledge of a falsity. 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 are unfounded.

In the trial of Yoel Zev ben Mirel Risa Chava Goldstein, Judge Masanori Hodoko – who had replaced Judge Hiroshi Furuta – refused to allow Professor Ben-Shachar to testify, but said that he would wait and see what the outcome of Yaakov Yosef’s appeal would be before deciding Yoel Zev’s case. Judge Hodoko has actually apologized to Yoel Zev several times about the fact that this delay would further postpone the conclusion of the case, but it is hoped that the delay will be to Yoel Zev’s benefit.

Suzuki now has until Februray 28 to issue a response to Professor Ben-Shachar’s presentation. Professor Ben-Shachar will then be given a translation of Suzuki’s testimony and will have until the end of March to issue a rebuttal to Suzuki. A final verdict is expected to be handed down in April.

Askanim close to the case tell that they and Professor Ben-Shachar feel that the crucial testimony went over well.

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

{By Yossi Schneider for Newscenter}