Japanese gov't backs use of GPS trackers to prevent int'l bail jumping

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 4, 2023
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TOKYO, March 4 (Xinhua) -- The cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday approved legal revisions to enable courts to order the use of GPS trackers to prevent international bail jumping, such as former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn's escape from the country in 2019 while on bail.

Under the proposed revisions, judges would decide if defendants out on bail should be ordered to wear GPS tracking devices after hearing from defense attorneys and prosecutors, while unauthorized removal of such devices as well as entering areas that are off-limits such as airports and harbor facilities will lead to detention and a sentence of up to a year in jail.

The move comes after a series of cases in which individuals have escaped while on bail, including Ghosn who stunned Japan when he smuggled himself out of the country before his trial by stowing away in a musical instrument case sent to Lebanon in 2019.

"It is extremely difficult to ensure that a person will appear before court once they have fled abroad," Justice Minister Ken Saito told a press conference on Friday.

"This is the first time Japan has put forward a legal framework for enabling the use of GPS for tracking defendants, and it is important not to allow the system to become muddled," Saito added.

The government aims to pass the bill through parliament during the current session. The use of GPS devices will begin within five years from the promulgation of the law. Enditem

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