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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Maj. Michael Brown says he’s lost faith in the Japanese justice system.

In a three-page appeal letter to the Fukuoka High Court, the Marine called his 10-month ordeal in the Japanese judicial system unfair and prejudicial.

Brown is appealing a lower court’s decision denying his motion to disqualify the panel presiding over his trial for attempted rape.

Brown’s Japanese attorney, Toshimitsu Takaesu said he didn’t know how long an appeal will take. The trial is suspended until the higher court makes a ruling.

In his appeal filed Monday, he said the way his case has been handled by the three-judge Naha District Court panel has validated his initial suspicions.

“I believed initially that I stood no chance of receiving a fair trial in a Japanese court,” he wrote. “I was told repeatedly by the Staff Judge Advocate’s Office, members of my command and independent sources I consulted that Japan’s 99.5 percent conviction rate was achieved through a process that unfairly favors the prosecution.”

But Takaesu temporarily convinced him otherwise.

“I was beginning to harbor optimism that this court might be willing to judge this case on the facts and not the presumption of guilt,” Brown said. “I have now lost that optimism.”

The judges hearing his case have “shown a tendency to side with the prosecution” requiring the defense to prove innocence “as opposed to requiring the prosecution to prove guilt,” he said.

“It appears to me, the court seeks only the lowest threshold of evidence to agree with the prosecution and side against the defense,” he said.

On Friday, Brown and Takaesu filed the motion requesting the judges step down. But the judges asked another judicial panel to review their handling of the case.

The second panel dismissed the motion and said the case can continue.

It took just three days for the panel to rule.

“The decision was rendered in less time than it could possibly have taken for even a cursory examination of the case,” Brown wrote. “This only serves to increase my skepticism of the fairness of the Japanese court system.”

Brown, 40, was indicted Dec. 19 for the attempted rape of Victoria Nakamine, a Camp Courtney Officers’ Club barmaid, early Nov. 2 during a ride to his off-base home. He’s also accused of destroying her cell phone.

When testifying in May, Nakamine recanted the allegations.

But judges accepted as evidence earlier statements she made to police and prosecutors in which she alleged Brown tried to rape her when they were parked on a dark road along the Tengan River.

Nakamine claims police and prosecutors coerced her into signing statements she didn’t understand.

In his appeal, Brown pointed to several instances in which he believes judges were biased.

He said the court refused to allow the testimony of a Marine military policeman who spoke with Nakamine the night of the incident. He would have shown that Nakamine’s behavior “was not consistent with the [Japanese] criminal complaint” and that she was reluctant to file charges, Brown wrote.

“I contend this testimony was not allowed so as to make it easier for the court to admit the police and prosecutor statements signed by my accuser,” Brown wrote. “My accuser has testified that these statements were drawn up by police and she could not even read what she was signing.”

Brown also criticized the court’s acceptance of Nakamine obtaining a Japanese driver’s license as proof she understood written Japanese — and, therefore, should have known what was in the statements she signed.

“My defense attorney has since gathered an abundance of evidence that shows the accuser passed her driver’s test on the seventh attempt only with the prompting and assistance by the exam proctor,” Brown said.

That evidence was not allowed.

“Again, the court appears to be requiring only the minimal threshold for accepting evidence from the prosecutor, thus giving that evidence more weight than it merits,” he said.

Brown also contends a Sept. 23 re-creation of the alleged incident at the scene was flawed.

The placement of a vehicle along the deserted road at 1:30 a.m. was inconsistent with statements both Brown and Nakamine made to police, he said.

“[It] was done for the purpose of ignoring obvious flaws in her police statement that would have been shown had the vehicle been placed in the correct spot,” he said.

Brown spent 149 days in solitary confinement in a Japanese jail after he was indicted. After four refusals, the three-judge panel granted $86,000 bail in May. Brown is restricted to Camp Courtney, where he is assigned to the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force’s command element.

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