Erwin released from detention; final verdict to come on February 22.
Following the closing arguments by the prosecution and defense on February 16, the trial court judge signed an order presented by the defense for Erwin to be released from custody pending the judge’s verdict, which will be delivered on February 22. The prosecution exercised its right to appeal to a higher court in order to have Erwin remain in detention a few more days. The trial judge took the extraordinary step of sending the paperwork to the higher court last night thus ensuring that the appeal would be heard today (Friday). The higher court sided with the trial judge and denied the prosecution’s appeal. Erwin will be released from detention in a few hours and will re-join his fellow Cove Guardians.
Erwin will be back in court on February 22 to hear the judge’s verdict on the assault charges. The prosecution has only asked for a small fine (100,000 Yen) should Erwin be found guilty. No jail time was requested. The defense exposed the fact that the prosecution’s case is without merit and how poorly the case was investigated. It is clear that arresting Erwin and charging him with assault was politically motivated. The prosecution’s appeal on the release from detention is blatant injustice and more proof of the political motivation of this case.