Man Given Indefinite Term for Murdering Girl in Central Japan
Niigata, Dec. 4 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese court sentenced Wednesday a 25-year-old man to an indefinite prison term for murdering a seven-year-old girl and abandoning her body on a railway track in the central prefecture of Niigata in May last year.
"The case is an indiscriminate attack on a weak person, but it cannot be said that this is more serious than similar offenses," said Takeshi Yamazaki, presiding judge at Niigata District Court.
During court hearings in a lay-judge trial, public prosecutors said that the man, Haruka Kobayashi, committed a cruel crime. The death penalty should not be avoided based on the fact that he killed only one person, the prosecutors said.
The defense side denied that Kobayashi had an intention to kill the girl, claiming that he should be punished on charges of inflicting injury resulting in death.
The judge said that as the man continued choking her until she showed muscle weakness, the act was highly likely to cause death. He was aware of this, the judge said, recognizing an intention to kill.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]