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Yaakov Yosef Arrives in Eretz Yisrael from Japan

The last of the three Japan defendants, the talmidim convicted of drug smuggling by Japanese authorities, was released and arrived in Eretz Yisrael late Wednesday night, the eve of 19 Elul 5772. He is free from the horrors of his imprisonment in Japan, but not yet a free man as the agreement compels Israel to incarcerate Yaakov Yosef Gruenwald for the duration of his sentence.

Two Israel Prison Authority officers traveled to Japan earlier in the week to escort the prisoner home. The route was Japan to Hong Kong and then on to El Al flight 076 to Tel Aviv, landing at 23:10. From there Yaakov Yosef was taken to Nitzan Prison and in the coming days, it is likely that he will be moved elsewhere.

In March 2010 Yaakov Yosef was sentenced to six years imprisonment. He has already been jailed for 4.5 years. It remains unclear if a third of the sentence will be removed for good behavior as is customary in Israel, or if he will have to serve out the sentence.

Justice Minister Prof. Yaakov Ne’eman’s office played a central role in his release.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

2 Responses

  1. Welcome news just before the yom tovim. Perhaps one of the most positive things he (and the others) can do once he is formally released would be to put out the word among the charedi bochurim that any type of smuggling, no matter how innocent or well intended, could have tragic consequences. We can put out all these alerts but hearing it from one of their own chevrah would be much more effective and avoid future such incidents when someone asks a naive (or greedy) bochur to carry some items for them on an overseas flight.

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