• Kyodo


The 40-year-old wife of a former Fukuoka High Court judge at the center of a scandal involving the leakage of information regarding his wife’s case admitted to threatening another woman during her first trial hearing Monday.

Sonoko Furukawa, who admitted to the Fukuoka District Court that the facts in the indictment are correct, apologized to the victimized woman.

According to prosecutors, Furukawa, who became acquainted with a man via their cellular phones, became angered when the man began dating another woman. Furukawa told the court that she was looking for a friend and confidante.

Motivated by jealousy, Furukawa began sending threatening e-mail messages, such as “I’m going to kill you,” to the woman and her husband. The messages, which began in December, were sent on 15 occasions from a cellular phone, prosecutors said.

Furukawa also made about 1,200 silent phone calls to the workplace of the woman’s husband from November to December and placed a glue-like substance in the keyhole of the woman’s front door, they said.

The case drew wide attention after Furukawa’s husband, Ryuichi, was found to have received information from the deputy head of the Fukuoka District Public Prosecutor’s Office that his wife was the target of a police investigation prior to her arrest. No details of the leak were presented during Monday’s hearing.

Ryuichi Furukawa resigned as a judge in April.

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