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HOME  > Past issues  > 2010 September 29 - October 5  > What breeds prosecutors’ collective cover-up of tampering with data?
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2010 September 29 - October 5 [AGRICULTURE]

What breeds prosecutors’ collective cover-up of tampering with data?

October 3, 2010
The chief and the deputy chief of the Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office’s special investigation unit were arrested for covering up their subordinate’s tampering with data in the postal abuse case.

The two top public prosecutors’ arrests have aroused the suspicion among the public that the case is narrowed merely to the Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office so that it might not involve the entire prosecution.

Public prosecutors have strong power over the legal processes from criminal investigation, arrest, prosecution, trial, and execution. The police with enormous investigative powers can arrest and expose suspects, but it is entirely up to the prosecution to decide if the suspects are indicted or not. The prosecution checks if the police document is defective.

However, no authority checks a case if it is indicted by the prosecution based on its independent investigation. The Supreme Public Prosecutors Office (SPPO) holds top-level meetings to discuss whether evidence is appropriate or not when suspects are politicians or government high officials, but there are no signs that such meetings were held over this case.

The Supreme Public Prosecutors Office is investigating the issue of data tampering and cover-up of the crime. There is no denying that this means that public prosecutors investigating other public prosecutors, which leads to too-cozy feelings of fellowship, even under the allegation of “strict investigation.” It is necessary to make clear if top officials of the Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office and the SPPO are involved or not.

Moreover, all facts must be revealed by a third-party organ to be set up so that the people know the truth and think about how the investigation and the organization of the prosecution should be.

Public Prosecutors Offices are administrative and judicial organs of the state, and the case should also be examined by the Diet.
- Akahata, October 3, 2010
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