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2014年3月 9日 (日)

オウム事件判決 凶行を厳しく指弾した裁判員

The Yomiuri Shimbun March 08, 2014
Lay judges hand down tough ruling on Aum member’s horrible criminal acts
オウム事件判決 凶行を厳しく指弾した裁判員(3月8日付・読売社説)

Lay judges have handed down a stern decision on the heinous criminal acts committed by a former member of the Aum Supreme Truth cult.
 オウム真理教が引き起こした凶悪犯罪を、裁判員が厳しく指弾した。

Makoto Hirata, a former senior member of Aum, was sentenced to nine years in prison on Friday by the Tokyo District Court. Hirata, 48, surrendered to police in late 2011 after nearly 17 years on the run.
 17年近くの逃亡生活の末に出頭し、逮捕された教団元幹部・平田信被告の裁判で、東京地裁は懲役9年の判決を言い渡した。

The Hirata case represents the first in which lay judges took part in an Aum-related court trial.
 オウム事件の裁判で裁判員が審理に加わったのは初めてだ。

The court determined he was involved in all three cases for which he was indicted, including the abduction of Kiyoshi Kariya, the chief of the Meguro public notary office in Tokyo, and the bombing of the entrance to a Tokyo condominium.
 1995年に起きた目黒公証役場事務長の仮谷清志さん拉致事件や都内のマンション入り口爆破事件など、起訴された3事件すべてに被告が関与したと認定した。

Nineteen years have already passed since both incidents occurred in 1995. The ruling can be said to be the result of careful efforts by the lay judges to cross-check a great deal of testimony and examine it all amid a situation in which many witnesses found it difficult to recall the events.
 事件から既に19年が経過した。証人が当時の記憶を喚起するのが難しい中、裁判員が多くの証言を照らし合わせ、その一つひとつの信用性を慎重に吟味した結果と言えるだろう。

Hirata denied part of the charges, saying he was not informed of the kidnapping plan beforehand.
 平田被告は「事件の計画を知らされていなかった」と起訴事実の一部を否認していた。

But based on testimony by a former cult leader, who gave a detailed account of his instructions to Hirata, the court concluded the defendant’s assertions “could not be trusted.”
 判決は、被告への指示を具体的に語った教団元幹部の法廷証言などを根拠に、「被告の弁解は信用できない」と結論づけた。

The kidnapping of Kariya, who was later killed while he was confined at a cult facility, was an organized, premeditated act, and Hirata’s long years as a fugitive made society anxious. These things were weighed heavily, leading to the severe sentence of nine years in prison. This was quite a convincing judgment.
 犯行は組織的かつ計画的で、被告の長期の逃亡は社会に不安を与えた。懲役9年の重い刑を選択したのは、こうした点を重視したからだ。うなずける判断である。

Death-row inmates testify

Three death-row inmates who were involved in the kidnapping case testified at court hearings, an extremely rare practice.
 公判で、事件に関与した死刑囚3人の証人尋問が行われたのは、極めて異例だった。

One of the three was Tomomasa Nakagawa, who gave a detailed account of the circumstances in which Kariya was abducted. The testimony given by Nakagawa and the other condemned criminals at public hearings was considered significant in helping to unravel the entire picture of the kidnapping.
 中川智正死刑囚は仮谷さんを拉致した状況を詳述した。事件の全体像を解明する観点から、公開の法廷における死刑囚の証言は一定の意味があったのではないか。

The Hirata trial represented the first case in which a crime victim was permitted to take part in court hearings. Kariya’s eldest son said he could “perceive the feelings of the defendant” through direct questioning of Hirata at a court hearing. We appreciate that the significance of the system allowing victim participation, which was introduced in 2008, has been reconfirmed.
 オウム裁判では初めて被害者参加制度も利用された。仮谷さんの長男は、平田被告に直接質問したことで、「被告の気持ちを感じ取れた」と語っている。2008年に導入された制度の意義が再確認されたと評価できよう。

In a series of criminal acts committed by Aum members, including sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway system, 29 people were killed and more than 6,000 others sickened and injured. Like Hirata, many cult followers were involved in the crimes at the orders of cult founder and guru Chizuo Matsumoto, who is also on death row.
 地下鉄サリンなど一連のオウム事件では29人もの命が奪われ、6000人を超える負傷者が出た。平田被告のように、多くの信者が教祖の松本智津夫死刑囚の指示に従って、犯罪に手を染めた。

The cult remains active after splitting into two groups: Aleph and Hikari no Wa. Young people who have no direct knowledge of Aum-related crimes are said to have become followers of the cult. The Public Security Investigation Agency and other organizations need to keep tight oversight on the cult.
 教団は今も「アレフ」「ひかりの輪」と名称を変えて、活動を続けている。事件を直接知らない若い世代が入信していると指摘される。引き続き、公安調査庁などによる厳しい監視が必要だ。

In a news conference after the court’s ruling Friday, one of the lay judges described an impression of interacting with the former cult members at the court, saying: “I felt my mind become frozen. I thought Aum was a really dreadful organization.”
 判決後の記者会見で、裁判員の一人は、法廷で元信者らに接した感想として、「思考が停止していた感じがした。オウムは本当に恐ろしいと思った」と語った。

The series of Aum-related incidents should not fade into oblivion. The latest trial must be used to reexamine what the cult did.
 一連の事件を風化させてはならない。今回の裁判をオウム事件を問い直す契機としたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 8, 2014)
(2014年3月8日02時02分  読売新聞)

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