Constitutional freedoms come before public employee obligations: lawyer

The defense counsel of a public employee, charged with violating the National Public Service Law by distributing Akahata extras on holidays, demanded that the suit be dismissed because the charges conflict with constitutional freedoms and international law.

This was during the second court hearing on September 14 for Horikoshi Akio, the indicted government agency employee.

The prosecution of Horikoshi was extraordinary and had many problems. The Metropolitan Police Department's public safety section investigated Horikoshi on the allegation of his violation of election law four months after the national election, and had more than ten policemen tail him for many days. Horikoshi was then arrested and prosecuted on charges of violating the NPS Law restricting political activities by public officials.

The defense counsel argued that the NPS Law be drastically reviewed because its Article 102 restricting political activities by public officials contradicts freedoms of speech and expression guaranteed by the Constitution. The defenders also argued that the suit be dismissed because it also contradicts the International Covenants of Human Rights internationally guaranteeing human rights. (end)

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