U.K. Court Cites Human-rights Concerns in Refusing Extradition of British Robbery Suspect to Japan

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Investigators examine a jewelry store where a robbery took place in Shibuya, Tokyo, on November 20, 2015.

A British court on Friday cited “human-rights” concerns in rejecting the extradition to Japan of one of three Britons suspected of robbing a Tokyo jewelry store in 2015, according to investigative sources.

The robbery involved the theft of 46 pieces of jewelry — including diamond rings and other items worth a total of about ¥100 million — from a Harry Winston jewelry store in the capital’s Shibuya Ward in November 2015. The men were placed on an international wanted list through Interpol over their alleged involvement in the case.

According to the investigators, the Metropolitan Police Department subsequently identified the suspects who left Japan two days after the incident. In 2017, the police obtained an arrest warrant for the men on charges of robbery resulting in injury and they were added to the wanted list.

The three men were detained by British authorities on suspicion of involvement in a separate incident.

No extradition treaty exists between Japan and the U.K. and talks to extradite the men were made at the request of the Japanese side.

The British court ruled against extradition of the 37-year-old suspect citing “human rights issues” with Japanese criminal procedures. The court is expected to rule on the other two suspects in the near future.