Retrial Rejected for 92-Year-Old Japanese Woman over 1979 Murder

Society

Tokyo, June 26 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Supreme Court has overturned lower court rulings that call for a retrial over the 1979 death of a brother-in-law of a 92-year-old woman who served 10 years in prison for murdering him.

The decision to reject a retrial for Ayako Haraguchi was made unanimously by the top court's five-judge First Petty Bench on Tuesday. This is believed to be the first time that the Supreme Court has rejected a ruling for a retrial passed by a district or high court.

The petty bench said forensic analysis by the defense that suggested the victim died of blood loss after an accident is not sufficient evidence that supports a retrial.

The man, a 42-year-old farmer, was found dead in a cowshed at his home in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, in October 1979.

The Supreme Court said the analysis was based on photos taken during an autopsy of the decomposed body and that the information collected through the autopsy was extremely limited.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press