SANTOSH P POKHAREL
KATHMANDU: Govinda Prasad Mainali, who served 15 years in a prison in Japan for a crime he did not commit, expressed profound dissatisfaction with the government for being apathetic towards protecting the rights of a citizen even when he was innocent upon arrival in Kathmandu .
“I implore the government to take proper care so that no innocent Nepali citizen suffers because of government apathy,”said Mainali in a Press Conference. He further expressed unhappiness at the unjust trial and the 15-year jail term he had to serve even though he was innocent. However he was happy to meet his relatives and family member back home after such a long hiatus. “Although late, I have receive justice,” he said in the press conference.
However speaking to THT, Nepali Ambassador to Japan Madan Bhattarai said that as Mainali’s case was sub judice in the Japanese court, the government was in no position to act. Bhattarai assured help in the process of seeking compensation for Mainali from Japan.
Stating that the Japanese High Court is yet to deliver the final verdict on the case, Mainali hoped that the court would acquit him fully in its final verdict.
Mainali, who looked gloomy and nervous and spoke little by way of answering the media queries, briefly recounted the harsh behavior of jail authorities and the poor facility in the prison. “The jail authority used harsh language and assaulted us physically. Besides, facility in the prison was very poor,” he said.
Govinda thanked Justice for Govinda Innocence Advocacy Group for its tireless efforts in supporting his case and finally getting him released from the prison. The group, which includes Japanese and Nepalis living in Japan, had provided financial as well as legal support for Mainali’s release.
Members of his family and the Justice For Govinda Innocence Advocacy Group shared the inhuman treatment through his interrogation, solitary confinement by the Government of Japan and his way back home yesterday. He was inhumanly treated while passing immigration at Thai Airport, according to Kyakuno Mikiko , a member of the group who accompanied Mainali to Nepal.
Rajan Pradhananga, former president of Non-Residential Nepalis in Japan said that Mainali had to go through such a huge torment because he was the citizen of a poor country. He was of the opinion that had the case been that of a citizen of powerful countries like China and USA, it would not have taken such a long time.
Gopal Krishna Siwakoti, president of International Institute for Human Rights, Environment and Development (INHURED) slammed Japan’s judicial system for having a xenophobic attitude against migrant workers. Siwakoti also said that although Japan has become an economic world power, it still has to learn in the area of human rights and judicial system from other countries in the world. Stating the 99 per cent conviction rate in the Japanese judicial system, he said that because of traditional thought in investigation, confusion is taken as conviction as in the case of Mainali.
“Words fail to express my happiness at being home,” Mainali uttered in Japanese responding to a query from a host of Japanese mediapersons upon arrival at TIA. He touched his forehead on the ground while leaving the airport. He was putting his feet on Nepali soil after 18 years. He received an emotional welcome from family members and relatives at the airport.
Security personnel had a tough time dealing with the large number of mediapersons, both local and foreign, at TIA.
A Japanese court had found Mainali guilty for the murder of a female employee of Tokyo Electric Power Co in March 1997. A recent DNA test of evidences found in the crime scene had prompted the Tokyo High Court to grant a retrial and release Mainali on June 7, 2012. Granting retrial is a rare phenomenon in the Japanese Judicial system.