Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian Erwin Vermeulen Found Not Guilty By Japanese Judge
February 22, 2012, Wakayama, Japan - In a very rare example of extreme bravery the Wakayama Court Judge presiding over the case of Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian volunteer Erwin Vermeulen, has declared the Dutch activist not guilty. This outcome was completely unexpected from a justice system that boasts a 99% conviction rate. In the Japanese court system there is a presumption of guilt, not of innocence. There is no burden of proof for the prosecutor to bear; the defendant must prove his innocence. Most defendants avoid this injustice by pleading guilty and begging forgiveness. In the very few cases in which a person dares to declare their innocence, the judge usually decides the case in favor of the prosecutor. The judge does not consider the facts or the evidence, but rather how embarrassing a loss might be for the prosecutor and how their own personal reputation may be harmed by an acquittal."
Congratulations on your acquittal Erwin!