Producer: Japanese Jail 'Taking Toll' on Savoie - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

NC5 Investigates: Abducted to Japan

Producer: Japanese Jail 'Taking Toll' on Savoie

Amy Savoie and CBS News producer Amy Savoie and CBS News producer
Noriko Savoie Noriko Savoie
Rebecca, Isaac and Christopher Savoie Rebecca, Isaac and Christopher Savoie
Noriko Savoie's home in Japan Noriko Savoie's home in Japan

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Christopher Savoie doesn't appear to be holding up well after more than a week in a Japanese jail.

That's the word from a journalist who gained access to the Franklin father.

Savoie is locked up in a jail near Fukuoka, Japan, accused of trying to abduct the children who were abducted from him. It's been eight days since he was arrested -- and prosecutors will decide this week whether to keep him locked up or send him back home.

Savoie went to Japan to rescue the two children -- Isaac and Rebecca -- after his ex-wife abducted them and a Williamson County judge gave him full custody.

Tuesday, his current wife appeared on the CBS Early Show as a CBS News producer described -- live on the air -- what she saw when she visited Savoie in jail.

"I'm sorry to say that a week in a Japan jail is clearly taking a toll on your husband," producer Lucy Craft told Amy Savoie.

"He was disheveled. He looked very haggard. His hair was unwashed. He had a lot of stubble on his chin. I think he's struggling to keep his spirits up -- both because the conditions in the jail are quite difficult and also because he faces the very real prospect of a stiff prison sentence.

"He did say that he was very frightened because he's being housed with suspects in violent crimes. Also, the lights are on all the time -- so he says he doesn't sleep very well. And he could be stuck in this jail for another two weeks as prosecutors decide what to do with him."

The CBS producer says she also went to the home of Savoie's ex-wife, Noriko, to get her side.
But neither Noriko nor the children were there. 

The producer said they appear to have gone into hiding.

Some friends of Noriko Savoie have suggested that Christopher somehow lured her to Tennessee under false pretenses, that he tricked her into an American divorce.

But Williamson County Judge Jim Martin heard both sides and this is what he said in court: "She clearly understood that, when she was coming to the United States, she wasn't coming here to reconcile.... She came here knowing that [her husband] wanted a divorce."

Noriko Savoie entered into a divorce agreement in which she promised to raise the children here in Tennessee so they could be close to their father.

In return, she got almost $800,000  in cash -- a settlement that experts say she likely would not have received under Japanese law.

On The Early Show, Amy Savoie appealed to the Japanese government that has refused to recognize Noriko's abduction of the children to Japan as a crime.

"If parental abduction isn't a crime why is my husband in jail?' she asked. "This is a family problem. It's not a criminal problem."

Watch CBS 'Early Show' on the Savoie Case (10/6/09)

'Japan Times' Columnist Examines Cultural Issues Behind Savoie Case

Reporter's Notebook: 'Why Don't You Tell The Other Side?'

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