Prosecutors unveil new evidence casting doubt over Nepali's guilt Prosecutors face criticism for concealing evidence after revealing over the weekend that they have DNA evidence that further casts doubt over the guilt of Govinda Prasad Mainali, a Nepalese man convicted for a March 1997 murder. Mainali was found guilty of killing a 39-year-old Tokyo woman who led a double life as an elite employee of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) by day and a prostitute by night. Mainali's lawyers have appealed for a review of his life sentence confirmed by the Supreme Court after DNA found at the scene of the woman's murder and used as evidence to convict him was found recently to have belonged to another person.
5 Sep A 16-year-old boy from Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture, in Japan who pretended to be an official of an organization supporting victims of the March 11 earthquake disaster, was arrested on suspicion of defrauding a communications equipment company out of walkie-talkies and other items. Police arrested the boy Tuesday for presenting what is believed to be a forged government subsidy application to the company's president, in a bid to gain his trust. According to the president of the company in Fuji of the prefecture, the company received a fax from the boy in mid-March that read: "We'd like to purchase walkie-talkies to use for rescue operations. We'll pay for them later, after receiving subsidies from the central and prefectural governments." (sacbee.com)
5 Sep The discovery that prosecutors failed to reveal evidence that would have thrown serious doubt on the conviction of a Nepalese man for murder is likely to affect a court decision on whether to allow a retrial in the case, observers said. The latest finding also may stir public debate over how evidence should be disclosed during trials. It has been learned that the blood type of saliva detected on the breast of the victim during police investigations was different from that of Govinda Prasad Mainali. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for killing the woman, an employee of Tokyo Electric Power Co., in 1997. (Yomiuri)
5 Sep A 43-year-old man was arrested early Saturday morning for striking two female coworkers with a metal bat at a nursing care facility for elderly people in Kamagaya, Chiba Prefecture, police said. An employee of the facility telephoned police at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday and said a man was acting violently with a metal bat. Officers from Kamagaya Police Station rushed to the scene, where they arrested Makoto Tajima, 43, on the second floor. (Yomiuri)
5 Sep One-time lawmaker Taizo Shibano was found hanged in his Tokyo office this morning, the same day that a key court ruling was to be announced, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Sep. 5). The 60-year-old Shibano, current president of bio-fuel firm Nippon Chuyu, was discovered hanging from a vinyl rope inside his office in the capital's Minato Ward sometime after 9:15 a.m. by a co-worker, said the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. A former Lower House member from the now-defunct Japan Renewal Party, Shibana had been on trial as president of Nippon Chuyu. According to the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor's Office, Nippon Chuyu falsely listed the company's capitalization upon establishment, in August 2009, at 20 million yen. The company was also accused of faking an increase in the company's capital to 1.25 billion yen later that same year. (Tokyo Reporter)
4 Sep A museum dedicated to the creator of the popular "Doraemon" cartoon series opened Saturday in Kawasaki, marking the fictional birthday of the catlike robot. The three-story Fujiko F. Fujio Museum has around 50,000 of the cartoonist's original drawings in storage, and about 130 of them on display, along with a desk and other items Fujiko used up until his death in 1996, the museum's operator said. (Japan Times)