Drugs caught in Japan
Photo: Japan Police
A Japanese court has sentenced Y, one of three Israeli caught with 90,000 ecstasy pills there last year, to eight years in prison and a $40,000 fine. Y, who was a minor when he committed the offense, hopes to be able to carry out the sentence in Israel.
In April 2008 three ultra-Orthodox Israelis were arrested at the airport in Japan with a suitcase containing the massive number of ecstasy pills.
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Their attorneys claimed the arrests were the product of a sting operation that took advantage of the youths' innocence and that they had been enticed with money.
Y's eight-year sentence provides that after he has completed five years of his prison term he will be brought before a committee that will discuss his case and determine whether or not he can be released on good behavior.
Also, two-thirds of the time he has already spent in lockup pending trial will be recognized as part of his prison term. He is hoping to be brought to Israel to complete the term.
The trials of the other two Israelis involved in the case, Yoel Goldstein and Yosef Greenwald, is scheduled to begin in six weeks. The two continue to claim they believed the suitcase contained archaeological artifacts.
"I hope the court in Japan will reach the conclusion that my clients were not aware and could not have been aware that they were in possession of drugs," attorney Mordechai Tzivin told Ynet. "We trust Japan's fair legal system and its humanitarian conduct."
He said officials in Israel were involved in the case. "The conduct of the State Prosecution's International Department was positive from the get-go, cooperated in all manners, and you could not have asked for better results than what has happened," he said.