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Lawyer files complaint after video of raid on ex-KAT-TUN idol handed to media

Rena Komine, left, and Junnosuke Taguchi. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- A lawyer has filed a criminal complaint against two narcotics control officials for giving the media raw footage of a May raid that targeted former idol group member Junnosuke Taguchi and former actress Rena Komine ahead of their recent conviction for marijuana possession.

The complaint filed with the special investigative unit of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office accuses two members of the Narcotics Control Department of the Kanto-Shinetsu Regional Bureau of Health and Welfare, which operates under Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, of violating the National Public Service Act by violating their obligation to maintain secrecy.

Taguchi, 33, a former member of Japanese male idol group KAT-TUN, and Komine, 39, were handed suspended sentences in a ruling in the Tokyo District Court on Oct. 21 after being convicted of marijuana possession.

Hiromu Mochizuki, a lawyer representing Komine, said that the video footage was taken on May 22, when the Narcotics Control Department arrested Taguchi and Komine. It shows two officers questioning the pair before they are taken away in a vehicle. In addition to footage inside a residence, it shows the celebrities in handcuffs and bound with waist ropes.

The Narcotics Control Department is said to have handed over the video footage unedited after being approached by a television production company.

The trial against Taguchi and Komine concluded swiftly on July 11, and a ruling was due to be handed down on July 30. Mochizuki said that the television production company planned to air the footage on the day of the ruling, and asked the Narcotics Control Department to confirm its content. The department then reported this to public prosecutors. Prosecutors subsequently requested that the ruling be postponed, saying there was a need to confirm if the investigation had been carried out appropriately.

Mochizuki criticized the department for handing over the footage.

"Providing video footage for the purpose of making a television program goes beyond the bounds of what is necessary for an investigation. Even if the footage was obscured with mosaics on the day of the ruling, you can tell who it was, and it constitutes a violation of privacy," he said.

When approached for comment by the Mainichi Shimbun, a representative of the Narcotics Control Department commented, "It's true that we provided the video to the media." The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is investigating the background to the department's actions.

The Tokyo District Court on Oct. 21 sentenced both Taguchi and Komine to six months' imprisonment, suspended for two years. Public prosecutors concluded there were no problems with the investigation.

(Japanese original by Richi Tanaka, Local News Group, and Yuki Yamamoto, City News Department)

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