Yusuke Katayama and Hiroshi Sato
defendant in the "remote control virus" case
Hiroshi Sato, criminal defense lawyer
Friday, April 25, 2014, 15:00 - 16:00
What if you are implicated in a crime which you never committed, and yet the police find evidence in your personal computer?
In 2012, police arrested four people for posting a series of threatening messages on the internet. Messages said someone will set a bomb in schools, corporations and other public facilities, and kill and harm everyone there.
Police traced the IP address of the postings and made the arrests. Their computer showed that threatening messages were actually sent from their PCs.
But it turned out that their PCs were infected by a virus, which makes it possible for someone to remotely control them from outside. Apparently, someone spread a home-made virus on the internet, seized control of the computers of those who were infected by the virus, and posted the threatening messages through their PCs.
Two of the four suspects were forced into confessing the crime, but eventually, police admitted that they had arrested the wrong people.
About four months after admitting wrongful arrests, police then arrested a 30-year-old computer programmer, Yusuke Katayama, in February 2013 as the alleged true criminal of the case. They said Katayama had masterminded the whole thing, and they have enough evidence to prove his criminal acts.
Katayama, however, claimed that he, too, was a victim of the remote-control virus. He says he has no knowledge of the crime and the evidence, which includes the traces of the remote control virus in his personal computer, is nothing but proof that his computer, too, was remotely controlled.
The trial of the so-called Remote Control Virus case began in March this year. Katayama is represented by a well-known defense lawyer, Hiroshi Sato, who says police and prosecutors needed someone to blame to clear their name.