Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Japanese criminal lawyer Satoru Ito comments on Julie Hamp's legal situation -- Lawyer-Dotcom-News (Japan)

Law related to drug importation.

Lawyer-Dotcom-news article
Disclaimer: Due to a rush with other work, this translation is rough. Don't rely on the nuances.
 Is a drug-related crime committed even if a person did not know the drugs were illegal? We asked criminal lawyer Satoru Ito about the details.
● Was there recognition that this was an "illegal drug harmful to the body?"
"Presuming there is a prosecution, but now inference is only being made based on news reports, the major points will probably be these: whether Hamp knew that oxycodone was imported, whether she knew that oxycodone was included among the 'drugs' covered by the Narcotics Control Law, and whether she knew that it was an illegal drug." 
Attorney Ito described how the the suspect's knowledge of an illegal drug will be determined.
"In the case of violations of the Stimulants Control Law, the Supreme Court recognized a deliberate crime if the suspect knew that it was an 'illegal drug compound harmful to the body,' even though there was no clear knowledge of a stimulant (February 9, 1990 decision)."  
"Even in this incident as well, if the suspect knew that the imported tablets were an illegal drug compound harmful to the body, the suspect will be found guilty.
Specifically, it is likely that the prosecution will attempt to prove knowledge that it was an illegal item, based on the form of the parcel, how it was packed, the content of the declaration, and that it could not be imported with an honest declaration."
Wouldn't it be difficult to lighten the sentence based on the circumstances?
If the suspect did not know that it is prohibited by Japanese law, would that have an impact?
"Criminal Code Article 38, Paragraph 3 states 'Even if the suspect did not know the law, it will not mean that they can be judged as not having had an intention to commit a crime.' Even as a suspect did not know the laws of Japan, by itself that will not absolve the suspect from a finding that they had intent."
"A sentence is sometimes lightened depending on the circumstances.
But if the suspect is an executive of a well-known company, they are in a position requiring high morals, and on the basis that oxycodone is a controlled substance in the U.S., (it requires a doctor's prescription), if the suspect is found guilty, won't it be difficult to lighten the sentence?"
Attorney Satoru Ito spoke.
伊藤 諭弁護士