Trial held on indicted government employee

The first court hearing was held on July 21 over a government employee's participation in political activity allegedly in violation of the National Public Service Law.

This is the trial of Horikoshi Akio who was arrested and indicted in March by the Tokyo District Prosecutor's Office for an allegedly breaking the law by distributing a Japanese Communist Party flyer on holidays.

The police searched Horikoshi's house and the JCP Chiyoda Ward District Committee office.

In the day's hearing, after the prosecutor read out the indictment, Horikoshi stated that the indictment is in violation of the Constitution that guarantees citizens' freedom of expression. "The indictment must immediately be revoked," he stressed.

In a three-hour statement, Horikoshi's attorney refuted the indictment, saying that it is in violation of the Constitution's Article 21 providing that "Freedom of assembly and association as well as speech, press and all other forms of expression are guaranteed."

They insisted that the prosecutors also violated the international Covenants on Human Rights which bans controlling freedom of expression without adequate reasons.

The lawyers denounced the prosecutors for resorting to illegal means such as stakeouts, and videotaping. They said Horikoshi's indictment is aimed at suppressing public employees' participation in JCP election campaigns, criticizing the law enforcement authorities for ignoring the illegal use of government employees and organizations for supporting particular candidates. (end)

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