Ex-Aide Nurse to Be Acquitted of Murder in Retrial

Society

Otsu, Shiga Pref., Feb. 3 (Jiji Press)--An assistant nurse who served a prison sentence after being convicted of murdering a 72-year-old male inpatient in 2003 at a western Japan hospital is certain to be acquitted, after public prosecutors showed their intention to give up proving her guilt in the first hearing of her retrial at a district court on Monday.

The defense side reiterated the innocence of Mika Nishiyama, 40, at the day's hearing at Otsu District Court in Shiga Prefecture, western Japan. "I didn't kill the man," Nishiyama said. The retrial is set to be concluded on Feb. 10, with the ruling expected to be handed down in late March.

In an opening statement, the prosecution side said, "We will not newly prove her guilt and hopes that the court will make an appropriate decision."

The defense side will seek new evidence, including an investigation report in which a doctor who carried out an autopsy on the male inpatient said that he may have died of cardiac arrest after getting phlegm in his throat and thus denied the view that the elderly man was murdered, as well as Nishiyama's written statement in which she said she did not remove the ventilator of the patient on purpose.

The sets of evidence were not submitted to the prosecutors by the Shiga prefectural police department during its investigations into the case. They were disclosed after the decision to reopen the case was made.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press