Impeachment Court Dismisses Japanese Judge over Social Media Posts

Impeachment Court Dismisses Japanese Judge over Social Media Posts

   Tokyo, April 3 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese parliament's Judge Impeachment Court on Wednesday decided to dismiss Kiichi Okaguchi, a 58-year-old judge at Sendai High Court, over his inappropriate social media posts regarding a case of murder.
   Okaguchi, who had already been suspended from duty, became the eighth judge dismissed in an impeachment trial in postwar Japan and the first sacked over acts of expression. Okaguchi lost his status as judge because the ruling became final immediately. The verdict also stripped him of his legal qualification to become a lawyer or public prosecutor.
   According to the accusation, Okaguchi's social media posts over the murder in 2015 of a high school student in Tokyo's Edogawa Ward destroyed his credibility as a judge. He said on Twitter, now X, in 2017 that the 17-year-old girl was "brutally killed" by "a man who was sexually aroused by watching a woman suffering from being strangled."
   Handing down the ruling, Hajime Funada, head of the impeachment court, said that Okaguchi violated the dignity of the victim's family, and that his behavior went beyond the boundaries of freedom of expression allowed for a judge.
   In a civil lawsuit over the social media posts, a court ruling ordering Okaguchi to pay compensation to the bereaved family has been finalized.

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