My previous post on Hakamada Case here. This is a case from 1966. Hakamada claims his innocence from Tokyo Detention Center, where he is held on death row. He has been held in confinement for over 45 years.
From the Mainichi:
New evidence emerges in 1966 murder case: lawyers
SHIZUOKA, Japan (Kyodo) — New evidence has emerged in a 1966 murder case that suggests the man who has been convicted and is on death row for the crime may have been wrongfully accused, his defense lawyers said Sunday.
The new evidence in favor of Iwao Hakamada, 77, may provide stronger grounds in their appeal for a retrial, the result of which will be decided by the Shizuoka District Court next spring at the earliest.
The lawyers said the new evidence came to light in the witness statements of two colleagues of Hakamada who were staying at the same company dormitory at the time of the crime in June 1966.
Hakamada, a former professional boxer, was sentenced to death by the district court in 1968 for the murders of an executive of a miso soybean paste maker where he worked, the executive’s wife and their two children, in a trial that became known as the “Hakamada case.” The ruling was upheld by the Tokyo High Court in 1976 and finalized by the Supreme Court in 1980.
The family’s home was set on fire and cash was stolen.
During initial police questioning, the colleagues said they had left their rooms when they heard sirens, with Hakamada following them. They said they tried to put out the fire together with Hakamada.
The colleagues’ witness statements do not match the finalized court ruling that said no one saw Hakamada from the previous night.
Their testimony was found among 130 items of evidence related to the 1966 murder case that was disclosed by Shizuoka prosecutors to the court and lawyers in July after the court urged the release of evidence.
Hakamada, who pleaded not guilty, has filed a second appeal for a retrial, following an unsuccessful appeal in 1981.
November 18, 2013(Mainichi Japan)