Thursday, March 26, 2009

Big in Japan

There are three Yeshiva students incarcerated and awaiting a trial on drug charges in...Japan and here's a wall poster pleading to Heaven and He-Who-Is-The-Ruler-of-the-World for mercy:

I wasn't aware of this incident, so I checked.

Here's some Hebrew background (I) and (II). And eventually found this:

Drug-Smuggler Who Enticed Yeshiva Youths Indicted

At least 77 Japanese policemen, customs inspectors and others will be called to testify in the State of Israel’s case against Ben-Tzion Miller, who is accused of enticing Hassidic youths to smuggle Ecstasy into Japan.

The State of Israel filed on Monday a series of drug-trafficking charges against Miller, 31, of the Jerusalem area. He stands accused of running an international drugs-smuggling network, and of enticing three Hassidic yeshiva youths to take part. The three have been in Japanese jail for nearly a year and face prison sentences of many more years.

Miller is accused of recruiting three youths, one of whom was a minor at the time, to transport over 90,000 pills of MDMA, commonly known as Ecstasy, from Amsterdam to Japan. The three have testified, backed up by lie detector tests and the testimony of others, that he told them they were transporting items of Judaica.

The boys were given tickets to fly to Amsterdam, where they were given suitcases with false-bottoms. They were further told that the “Judaica items” were hidden in order to prevent theft and breakage.

Attorney Mordechai Tzivin, who represents two of the three youths, said, “This severe indictment against someone who enticed three innocent youths is an important part of our defense. Together with many other facts and circumstances in this case, the picture is clear that the boys in Japan were misled, and that their naivety and sincerity were abused by people who were their total opposite. The facts show that the boys are completely innocent, and could not have guessed – and certainly could not have known – that they were carrying drugs.”

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