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Fiasco involving flight of convict shows need for corrective action

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A man convicted of assault and theft fled with a knife when law enforcement officials tried to take him to prison after he refused to be imprisoned.

This outrageous fiasco occurred in Aikawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, on June 19.

The fugitive was arrested some 90 hours later, but his escape caused serious effects on local communities, forcing elementary and junior high schools to call off classes.

The incident should be scrutinized from various viewpoints.

First and foremost, the Yokohama District Public Prosecutors Office should be held accountable for allowing the convict, Makoto Kobayashi, to give them the slip and flee.

Kobayashi was convicted by the Odawara branch of the Yokohama District Court of assault, theft, stimulants use and other offenses last September. After appealing the ruling, he was freed on bail. After the Tokyo High Court rejected Kobayashi’s appeal in February, the prosecutors office repeatedly ordered him to appear at its office, but he ignored the orders for as long as four months.

It is difficult to fathom why the convicted criminal was allowed to get away with ignoring orders to appear for........

© The Asahi Shimbun