Retrial Rejected for 1949 Train Incident in Tokyo

Society

Tokyo, July 31 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo High Court rejected on Wednesday a retrial for a late former inmate who was given the death sentence over an incident that claimed the lives of six people after an empty train went out of control at Mitaka Station in Tokyo in 1949.

Keisuke Takeuchi died of a disease in the Tokyo Detention House in 1967 at age 45 while seeking a retrial after his capital punishment was finalized for charges of overturning a train resulting in deaths. His 76-year-old eldest son newly called for a retrial in 2011.

New evidence submitted by the defense group "doesn't deny the credibility of the core part of the confession" of Takeuchi, Presiding Judge Mariko Goto said, adding that it was not clear enough to conclude that Takeuchi was innocent.

The new evidence included an analysis by a railroad engineering professor of photos of the seven-car train involved in the accident, pointing to the possibility that the pantograph connecting the second car with the electric cable overhead and the headlight of the last car may have been manipulated.

The group claimed that there were contradictions between the train's situation and Takeuchi's confession that he entered the first car and started the train.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press