Sumo champion Harumafuji to be referred to prosecutors for alleged assault in drunken brawl
Japan Times -- Nov 21
Police are set to refer sumo grand champion Harumafuji to prosecutors by the end of the year on suspicion of assaulting lower-ranked wrestler Takanoiwa in a drunken brawl, investigative sources said Tuesday.

Under questioning late last week, the 33-year-old Mongolian yokozuna admitted to striking 27-year-old Takanoiwa with his palms, his fists and a karaoke-machine remote control, according to the sources.

Takanoiwa is believed to have suffered head injuries after being struck with an object, but Harumafuji has denied allegations that he hit the fellow Mongolian with a beer bottle in the late-October incident at a restaurant-bar in the city of Tottori, the sources said.

The police have determined that they can continue the investigation without arresting Harumafuji as he isn’t considered a flight risk or thought likely to destroy evidence, the sources said.

The police are carefully looking into how Harumafuji injured Takanoiwa but it remains unclear how accurately Takanoiwa can recall the incident, as the No. 8 ranked maegashira told police he kept his eyes closed as he was being hit.

According to other sources, Harumafuji became angry as Takanoiwa was using his smartphone while being scolded for his behavior by yokozuna Hakuho at the restaurant-bar.

Yokozuna Kakuryu and sekiwake Terunofuji — both from Mongolia — and some Japanese wrestlers were also present during the incident, the sources said.

The police are soon expected to question others in attendance including Kakuryu and Hakuho. Hakuho has said that Harumafuji did not strike Takanoiwa with a beer bottle.

The controversy has deepened as conflicting accounts of the alleged attack emerged — including the possibility that a liquor bottle, not a beer bottle, was used in the attack, according to investigative sources.

日馬富士関の暴行問題で、鳥取県警は飲食店に同席していた横綱の鶴竜を参考人として事情聴取していることが分かりました。
News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
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