Top court rejects actor’s appeal over drug death

Kyodo

The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by actor Manabu Oshio, upholding a lower court-imposed 30-month prison term for giving the synthetic drug Ecstasy to a girlfriend and neglecting to take proper lifesaving actions when she became ill after consuming it.

While Oshio, 33, has the right to file an objection, it is rare for the top court to reverse a decision and he is expected to be imprisoned once the sentence is formally finalized.

Because his offense violated an earlier 18-month suspended prison term for drugs, he will effectively be behind bars for four years. In a statement issued through his lawyers, Oshio said he was not happy with the decision.

Oshio was notified Tuesday of the dismissal of the appeal, according to Shinichiro Nojima, a member of his defense team.

According to lower court rulings, Oshio took the drug MDMA with the 30-year-old bar employee in August 2009 in Tokyo and failed to take care of her after she became gravely ill and later died.

Oshio had pleaded not guilty, arguing that even though he had called an ambulance right away, there was no proof that her life could have been saved by immediate treatment.

He was found guilty in a Tokyo District Court lay judge trial in September 2010 and the Tokyo High Court upheld the ruling the following April. Oshio in November 2009 received an 18-month prison term, suspended for five years, on a separate charge of drug use. With the finalization of the latest verdict, the suspension will be annulled and he will serve both terms back to back.

Minister’s wife to do time

The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by ex-education minister Takashi Kosugi’s wife, finalizing her six-year jail term for fraud.

Keiko Kosugi, 74, was accused of defrauding her husband’s supporters and acquaintances of around ¥180 million by concocting stories about financial investments or asking them to pay for party tickets in 2004 and 2006, according to lower court rulings.