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Defendant skips date with court but not bail guarantor

Toshiki Maeda
Toshiki Maeda failed to appear in court on July 10 (Twitter)
TOCHIGI (TR) – To be filed under, “doubling down.”

Prosecutors are seeking the whereabouts of 57-year-old Toshiki Maeda after he skipped a court date and fled the prefecture with a woman with whom he is engaged in an affair, reports Fuji News Network (July 11).

The tale began on May 23, when Tochigi police arrested Maeda over the alleged use of kakuseizai, or stimulant drugs, at a convenience store in Tochigi City.

The defendant was released after posting bail of 1.5 million yen on June 13. Though his trial was set to begin at the Utsunomiya District Court on July 10, he failed to appear, according to prosecutors.

During the bail process, the court appointed Maeda’s guarantor as his girlfriend, who is married to another man. It also designated — perhaps unknowingly — that Maeda’s residence while on bail would be her Fukushima Prefecture residence, where her husband lives.

At some point thereafter, Maeda fled the residence with his girlfriend for Yamagata Prefecture. On July 2, the court rescinded the defendant’s bail after it was learned that he was not present.

Toshiki Maeda fled with the wife of a court-appointed guarantor to Yamagata Prefecture (FNN)

“Why did the court grant the bail?”

The husband of Maeda’s girlfriend has lodged a complaint with prosecutors, saying he maintains a grudge against the judge. “Why did the court grant the bail?” the husband was quoted.

The question is not easy to answer, says Hidetoshi Hiramatsu, an editor for Fuji News Network.

“It is definitely not appropriate to designate the residence [for the defendant] as that of a women with whom he is engaged in an affair, especially when her husband lives there,” Hiramatsu said.

According to Hiramatsu, the conditions of the bail were not fully examined. “It is safe to say that the granting of bail, as a whole, was not correct. [The court] should carefully examine the conditions, such as the designated residence, more carefully,” the editor said.