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Tokyo court rules strip search ‘unlawful,’ finds man innocent in drug case

TOKYO (TR) – The Tokyo High Court cited an “unlawful” search in overturning a ruling that handed a 54-year-old man a prison term for the alleged use of stimulant drugs, reports the Sankei Shimbun (July 17).

According to the ruling, officers from the Tsukiji Police Station strip-searched the man, including touching his lower body, on a street during questioning in November, 2017.

On Tuesday, presiding judge Yoshifumi Asayama said that the search “was unlawful in consideration of privacy and shame.”

The ruling overturned a two-year and 18-month sentence previously handed down by the Tokyo District Court.

The ruling also revealed that the police falsely claimed that the defendant became agitated in refusing the search of his belongings when seeking a search warrant from a court. “This is a serious violation that discards the intention of the warrant,” judge Asayama said.

In making its case, the prosecution presented evidence that the defendant tested positive for kakuseizai, or stimulant drugs. However, the judge said that the evidence should not be accepted since the investigation used to obtain it was unlawful.