China Court Defers Ruling on Ex-Japanese Politician for 17th Time

Society

Beijing, Nov. 28 (Jiji Press)--A Chinese court missed a deadline on Wednesday for issuing a ruling on a 75-year-old former Japanese local assembly member charged with drug trafficking, putting off the decision for the 17th time since his trial ended in August 2014, according to his lawyer.

Takuma Sakuragi, a former member of the Inazawa city assembly in Aichi Prefecture, has been held in Guangzhou for some five years since over 3 kilograms of a stimulant drug was found in a suitcase that he was carrying at an airport in the southern China city.

During the trial, Sakuragi pleaded innocence, claiming that he was only taking care of the suitcase and had no idea that there was a stimulant drug inside it.

Prosecutors have demanded a prison term of at least 15 years or a death penalty.

As China's criminal code exempts convicts aged 75 or older from capital punishment, Sakuragi, who turned 75 in September, is now unlikely to be executed even if he is convicted.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press