A 70-year-old Japanese politician stood trial in Guangzhou this morning after he was stopped by airport security last year carrying over 3kg of crystal meth stuffed inside a suitcase of platform shoes. It doesn’t stop there.
Takuma Sakuragi, a city councillor in Aichi, Japan, pleaded not guilty to charges of carrying illegal drugs while standing before the Guangzhou City Intermediate People’s Court. His defense is that he didn’t know he was carrying more than 3kg of narcotics in his bag, South China Morning Post reports.
The indictment stated that Sakuragi flew from Nagoya to Guangzhou on October 29 last year. He checked into a hotel in Sanyuanli, Baiyun district, with the help of an African identified as Gemadi Hassan.
Hassan handed Sakuragi a piece of luggage containing women’s platform shoes, which he was supposed to bring to Japan and pass on to a third party, the indictment paper said. […]
On October 31, Sakuragi was scheduled to take a flight to Japan via Shanghai, but was stopped by airport security. They found drugs inside the soles of the shoes and inside the suitcase’s retractable handle.
There were 28 bags of methamphetamine in all, weighing 3,289 grams.
The defendant’s lawyer, Guangzhou-based Chen Weixiong, has generously compared his role in the case to the feats of Don Quixote, a heroic character in Spanish literature.
”[It’s because we are] attempting the impossible,” Chen said. “The biggest challenge now is the fact that he did carry 3,200 grams of [drugs] in his bag.
”We are going to argue he was not aware of the existence of drugs,” he said. “We will try our best. The best outcome would be [an acquittal].”
Most Japanese media were shut out from the hearing, which is expected to last three days. Chinese state-run darlings including CCTV, Xinhua and CNS were allowed inside.
Two other Africans-Aly Yattabare, 35, from Mali, and Mohamed Soumah, 39, from Guinea- were also arrested in November in connection to the crime. Police found around 10 grams of meth in the former’s house in Guangzhou on the night of the arrest, and in Soumah’s apartment they seized around eight grams of meth and some women’s platform shoes.