Guards who hosed inmate’s rectum seek retrial

Kyodo

Two Nagoya Prison guards who were convicted of causing an inmate’s death in 2001 by spraying a firehose into his rectum filed for a retrial Friday against their verdicts, which drew suspended sentences, claiming they have new evidence, their lawyers said Friday.

Former guards Mikio Otomaru, 55, and Masahiro Takami, 51, will file the plea with the Nagoya High Court possibly Wednesday, the lawyers said.

The two were convicted of spraying water into the inmate’s rectum in December 2001. The man suffered severe injuries to his rectum and died of bacterial shock shortly afterward, the Nagoya High Court ruled in 2008. The Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s ruling last June, and the pair were formally fired.

Otomaru was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended for five years, and Takami to 18 months, suspended for three years.

Their lawyers said they will present the high court with a document compiled by experts that shows the guards sprayed the water at normal pressure similar to tap water, arguing that could not have caused the injuries the victim sustained to his rectum. The guards had maintained in court they were simply washing the inmate.

The Nagoya District Court found them guilty in November 2005 of assault and cruelty causing death by special public officers. In October 2008, the Nagoya High Court upheld their convictions, but ruled the defendants had abused the inmate and the water spraying was a form of punishment.