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Top court finalizes death sentence over 2008 Akihabara murder rampage

Kyodo

The Supreme Court has finalized the death sentence for a man convicted of killing seven people and wounding 10 others in an indiscriminate rampage in Tokyo’s Akihabara district in 2008, court officials said Wednesday.

The court’s First Petty Bench led by Justice Ryuko Sakurai on Tuesday rejected 32-year-old Tomohiro Kato’s final objection to the sentence, according to the officials.

Kato, a former temporary worker, drove a rented truck into pedestrians in a vehicle-free zone in Akihabara on June 8, 2008, killing three people and injuring two. He then got out of the vehicle and fatally stabbed four other people with a knife, wounding eight others.

The top court had dismissed Kato’s appeal against a lower court sentence on Feb. 2, describing his actions as “leaving no grounds for leniency,” and stating that he was motivated by rage after being harassed on an Internet forum he had become engrossed in.

The Tokyo High Court upheld the death sentence in September 2012 after it was first handed down by the Tokyo District Court.