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2014年6月27日 (金)

司法取引 捜査の新たな切り札になるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Will plea bargains become new trump card for criminal investigators?
司法取引 捜査の新たな切り札になるか

Criminal investigations by the police and prosecutors may change greatly as prospects grow for Japan to adopt plea bargaining, a tactic already used widely in the United States and European countries.
 警察・検察の犯罪捜査が、大きく変わる可能性がある。欧米で普及している司法取引が、日本にも導入される見通しが強まったためだ。

A committee of the Legislative Council, an advisory panel to the justice minister, has largely agreed to the introduction of a form of plea bargaining. The Justice Ministry is set to submit related bills to next year’s ordinary Diet session.
 政府の法制審議会の部会では、導入賛成の意見が多数を占めている。法務省は、早ければ来年の通常国会に関連法案を提出する方針だ。

Adopting plea bargaining as a new investigative method to close in on the truth of matters is a significant shift.
事件の真相に迫る上で、司法取引という新たな捜査手法を採り入れる意義は小さくない。

Under the envisaged plea bargaining system, prosecutors and police investigators will not indict suspects or will seek reduced penalties in exchange for their cooperation in investigations. This could involve, for example, a suspect revealing information on crimes committed by a primary leader.
 司法取引は、容疑者が首謀者の犯罪を明らかにするなど捜査に協力すれば、見返りとして、本人の起訴を見送ったり、求刑を軽くしたりする制度である。

When dealing with such cases as bank transfer fraud and drug trafficking, investigators have often been unable to track down ringleaders even when suspects in marginal positions were arrested. If a ringleader were tracked down through plea bargaining, it would lead to a clearer, more complete picture of the crime.
 振り込め詐欺や覚醒剤売買などの事件では、末端の容疑者を逮捕しても、首謀者まで捜査がたどり着けないケースが多い。司法取引で首謀者を特定できれば、犯罪の全容解明につながる。

Plea bargaining should also prove effective in investigating financial crimes, including those involving organizations as a whole, such as bid-rigging and so-called window-dressing accounting. With plea bargaining, it would become easier for investigators to obtain statements from rank-and file employees who played a part in the crime, which would aid in the pursuit of criminal liability for corporate management.
 談合や粉飾決算など会社ぐるみの経済犯罪の捜査にも有効だ。犯罪に加担した従業員から供述を得やすくなり、経営陣の刑事責任の追及が円滑に進むだろう。

The issue of adopting plea bargaining systems has emerged amid discussions on possible legislation to implement video recording of the interrogation process to increase transparency.
 今回の導入論議は、取り調べの録音・録画(可視化)の法制化を検討する中で浮上してきた。

Dangers of recording

Video recordings have the merit of preventing investigators from forcing suspects to make disadvantageous statements or asking leading questions. Yet some experts have also cited possible ill effects, including the risk of suspects being overly conscious of the camera and declining to make a statement as a result.
 可視化には、捜査官による供述の誘導や強制を防ぐ利点がある一方で、容疑者がカメラを意識し、供述を渋る弊害も指摘される。

In the event that full video recording is implemented in the future, a plea bargaining system would encourage suspects to provide testimony, and is expected to prove effective in reducing losses in investigative capability to a certain extent.
 今後、可視化を本格的に実施する場合、司法取引で供述を引き出す仕組みを作っておけば、捜査力の低下をある程度食い止める効果が期待できよう。

Meanwhile, it is appropriate that discussions currently aim to prohibit the use of plea bargaining over crimes such as murder, and instead apply the system only to prosecutions involving drugs or firearms, fraud and corruption.
 司法取引の対象から殺人などを除外し、薬物・銃器犯罪や詐欺・汚職などに限定する方向で議論が進んでいるのは妥当と言える。

These discussions seek to address the deep-rooted antipathy among victims’ relatives toward permitting accomplices in murder cases to escape with lighter penalties through plea bargaining with investigating organizations.
殺人の共犯者が捜査機関との取引によって軽い刑になることに、被害者側の抵抗感が根強いためだ。

One matter of concern is the fear that suspects will make false statements shifting the blame onto others, in the hope of having their punishments lessened. We must not allow innocent people to be falsely charged.
 懸念されるのは、容疑者が自らの刑を軽くしてもらおうと、他人に罪を着せる虚偽の供述をする恐れがあることだ。冤罪えんざいを生んではならない。

As a countermeasure, a tentative proposal presented by the Justice Ministry requires prosecutors and police investigators to obtain an agreement with suspects’ defense counsel when offering a plea bargain.
 法務省が示した試案では、対策として、司法取引の際に容疑者の弁護士の同意を必要としている。

Regardig false statements, the proposal stipulates punitive provisions imposing imprisonment of up to five years. But are these measures alone sufficient?
虚偽供述に対しては、5年以下の懲役という罰則も設けているが、これらだけで十分だろうか。

Police investigators and prosecutors must perform full investigations to identify corroborative evidence for suspect statements. The court must also examine the credibility of such statements rigorously during the trial.
 警察・検察が供述の裏付け捜査を徹底する必要がある。裁判所も公判で供述の信用性を厳正にチェックすることが求められる。

In criminal cases involving organized crime groups, there could be instances in which gang members will refuse to cooperate in investigations for fear of retaliation. Investigative organizations need to bear in mind that the plea bargaining system is not all-powerful.
 暴力団が絡む事件では、組員らが報復を恐れ、捜査に協力しないケースも出るだろう。司法取引は万能でないことも、捜査機関は念頭に置くべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 26, 2014)

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