Retrial starts for Hakamada Iwao over 1966 murder case in central Japan

TOKYO, Oct 27 (NHK) - A district court in central Japan has begun the retrial of an 87-year-old man convicted of killing a family of four in 1966.

The Shizuoka District Court began a hearing on Friday for Hakamada Iwao, more than 40 years after his death sentence was finalized.

The court allowed Hakamada to skip the session, judging him incapable of communicating due to his mental state. His 90-year-old sister Hideko entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf.

Hideko said her brother proclaimed his innocence when he first went to trial in 1966, and has since gone through various setbacks and hardships over 57 years. She pleaded with the court to give her brother "true freedom."

The main point of contention involves blood-stained clothes allegedly worn by Hakamada. They were found in a tank of fermented soybean paste more than one year after he was arrested.

The Tokyo High Court that ordered the retrial in March said there were reasonable doubts with the original ruling that Hakamada wore the clothes at the time of the crime. The court went as far as to say that investigators may have planted the clothes in the tank. ...continue reading

Oct 27 (ANNnewsCH) - 1966年、静岡県の旧清水市で一家4人を殺害したなどとして死刑が確定した袴田巌さんの再審やり直しの裁判が27日午前、始まりました。静岡地裁前から報告です。  ...continue reading