Prosecutors lose bid to block Mainali retrial

Kyodo

The Tokyo High Court on Tuesday rejected an objection by prosecutors over its June decision to retry and release a 45-year-old Nepalese man who was serving a life sentence for the 1997 slaying of a Tokyo woman, after evidence surfaced pointing to his innocence.

It is now likely that Govinda Prasad Mainali, who spent about 15 years behind bars before his release and deportation to Nepal in June, will be acquitted because the Tokyo High Prosecutor’s Office does not plan to file a complaint with the Supreme Court over the latest decision.

Presiding Judge Shoichi Yagi said he sees “no unreasonable points” in the high court’s decision in early June granting Mainali a retrial after hearing fresh evidence indicating his innocence.

“The unhappiness and pain have now been relieved by the fair and wise decision” by the court, Mainali said in a statement from Katmandu, where he now lives with his family.

“I would be able to spend the rest of my life peacefully if the court made fair decisions quickly in the coming days,” he said.

On June 7, the court said fresh DNA tests that showed semen found inside the victim did not match Mainali’s DNA was “clear evidence” another man was the killer. But the prosecutors immediately filed an objection, claiming DNA detected from the victim’s right hand could be Mainali’s and asking for a DNA retest.

Mainali was acquitted in his first trial.