• Kyodo

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The Fukui District Court on Thursday sentenced a local employment agency executive to an indefinite prison term for murdering two Japanese-Brazilians and abandoning their bodies in Fukui Prefecture in April 1997.

According to the ruling, 29-year-old Yoshizumi Ishikawa murdered factory worker Carlos Alberto Oseko, 30, and Fuzifaru Massyo Fujiharu, a 30-year-old woman who lived with Oseko.

Ishikawa stabbed the two to death at Oseko’s house on April 21, 1997, over a monetary dispute related to the establishment of an employment agency, the court ruled. He then abandoned the bodies in a mountainous area in the town of Maruoka.

Prosecutors had demanded the death penalty, saying Ishikawa’s guilt was clear.

They cited the fact that blood detected on a T-shirt left at the crime scene matched the blood of the two victims, while forensic evidence taken from the T-shirt was traced back to Ishikawa.

Ishikawa professed his innocence throughout the trial, saying the forensic evidence was inconclusive and that there was no clear proof linking him to the crime.

But Matsunaga said, “The facts of indictment have been proved to the point that there is no room for rational doubt.”

With regard to a sum of 3 million yen that Ishikawa had borrowed from the victims in order to set up the agency — a transaction that was reportedly a source of tension — Matsunaga pointed out that Ishikawa had “tried to use part of it for wedding costs.”

Meanwhile, in reference to the T-shirt found at the murder scene, Matsunaga said, “It (the blood) splashed on to the criminal, and there is no possibility that investigators planted it.”

Ishikawa’s lawyer had previously alleged that the T-shirt had been placed at the crime scene by a third person.

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