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Lawyer demands Maj. Brown’s immediate release

Date Posted: 2003-02-15

The lawyer representing U.S. Marine Corps Major Michael Brown is demanding his client’s immediate release on the grounds that it has been more than 30 days since he was indicted, but the U.S. military has not been officially notified that the trial would proceed.

“The Japan - U.S. agreement on criminal prosecution clearly state that the military must be notified within 30 days of his or her indictment that the accused will be brought to a trial. If not, the case would be transferred to a U.S. court,” Brown’s lawyer says. “Since Major Brown was indicted November 8 it’s well past the limit and the Japanese side has no right to try him any more.”

Brown’s trial in Naha District Court was set to begin February 13, but he won a one-month delay after dismissing his Okinawan defense attorney and hiring new legal counsel. He is accused of attempting to rape a Philippine woman in her parked car in Gushikawa Nov. 2. He is also charged with destroying her cellular phone.

The 39-year-old officer assigned to the U.S. Marine Corps at Camp Courtney, has admitted being with the woman at the time of the alleged incident, but denies the charges. Brown has been in Okinawan custody since the U.S. Government surrendered the officer to Japanese authorities Dec. 19, the same day he was indicted.

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