1966 Murder Case in Central Japan Sent Back to High Court
Tokyo, Dec. 23 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned a decision by Tokyo High Court not to reopen a 1966 murder case in Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan, sending it back to the high court.
The top court's Third Petty Bench said there had been insufficient court deliberations on the color of blood stains on the clothing believed to be worn by the murderer at the crime scene.
The decision, dated Tuesday, was made by a vote of three to two. The two justices who opposed the decision said that a retrial should be started for Iwao Hakamada, who was released from prison in March 2014 more than three decades after his death sentence over the case became final.
Whether or not to reopen the case depends on deliberations at the high court, as the top court decision does not guide the conclusion.
About 48 years after his arrest, Hakamada, a former professional boxer, was freed following a decision by Shizuoka District Court to reopen the case.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]