Court hearing suspended after lawyers refuse masks
NHK -- Jun 03
A hearing at a Tokyo court was suspended for hours on Tuesday after defense lawyers refused to wear face masks.

The incident happened at a murder trial in session at the Tokyo District Court. Officials had installed clear partitions and other preventative measures for COVID-19 so lay judges would feel safe while taking part in trials.

However, the hearing was suspended after two defense lawyers refused to wear face masks.

They argued that they would not be able to fully convey their case to the lay judges with their faces covered. They also said they were in good health and would not come close to the judges.

The hearing resumed two hours later after another set of partitions were installed between the defense team and the lay judges.

Officials at the district court say they are asking all people appearing in court to wear face masks. The presiding judge expressed regret over the lawyers' refusal to comply.

Lay judge trials at the court had been suspended for three months due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Tuesday's hearing was held after a state of emergency for the capital was lifted Monday last week.

新型コロナウイルスの影響で延期が続いていた裁判員裁判が、東京地裁で感染防止対策を取りながら約3カ月ぶりに再開しました。  東京地裁では2日午前11時から緊急事態宣言の解除後、初めての裁判員裁判の初公判が開かれました。感染防止のため、最も広い法廷を使って傍聴人の間隔を空け、裁判員の間には透明のアクリル板を設置するなどの対策が取られています。東京地裁では新型コロナウイルスの影響でこれまで延べ34件の期日が延期されてきましたが、約3カ月ぶりの再開となりました。法廷では被告の弁護人がマスクを着用せず、審理が中断するなどしています。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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