Convicted serial killer Tsutomu Miyazaki told the Tokyo High Court on Thursday he was forced into confessing to the murders of three young girls on the first day of his arrest in July 1989 although he was apprehended on molestation charges. During defense questioning, Miyazaki, 37, said he was detained at Hachioji Police Station for molesting a young girl. During the interrogation, he said, a police officer threatened him into confessing to the murders by hitting him on the head three times, grabbing him by the collar and pushing him. Miyazaki also said the official police report did not accurately reflect questions put to him by investigators or what he told them. He claimed that investigators asked, “You molested (the girl in Hachioji), didn’t you?” But the report later said he admitted to the molestation, according to Miyazaki. When asked if he was allowed to say what he needed to, Miyazaki, a former print shop worker now on death row, said he did not believe so. Miyazaki’s defense counsel apparently aimed to discredit the investigation reports and prove that police forced the defendant to confess to the girls’ murders in violation of the law. Donning a navy blue suit and maroon pullover, Miyazaki also said investigators were determined that his motive for the killings was sexual because he had obscene photographs and photos of young girls. During the session, he spoke so quietly that the judge had to ask him to speak up. Referring to testimony in lower court proceedings that he “wanted to end a world that is not humane,” Miyazaki said he meant that he wished the assault by the police officer would stop. The Tokyo District Court sentenced him to death in April 1997. As in the lower court proceedings, the focus of the hearings at the appellate court is whether Miyazaki was able to tell right from wrong at the time of the offenses. According to the lower court, Miyazaki kidnapped four girls and killed them at different locations around Tokyo and Saitama Prefecture in 1988 and 1989. In one of the cases, he kidnapped a 5-year-old girl and strangled her in his car in June 1989. He later mutilated the body and abandoned parts of the corpse in woods in Tokyo and Saitama Prefecture.

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