• Kyodo

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The Nagoya District Court on Tuesday officially terminated efforts to bring to trial a 76-year-old Korean murder suspect who escaped from a detention house in 1945 following his indictment shortly after the end of World War II.

The court’s decision was in accordance with the former Criminal Procedure Law after prosecutors opted to drop the case upon learning that the man, who was not identified, fled to South Korea several years ago.

The court had been setting schedules for the man’s trial for more than 50 years so the statute of limitation for the fugitive would not expire in the light of the prewar law, which was effective at the time of the crime.

But on Tuesday, the court dropped the case, because there is little chance the man will ever return to Japan and as the crime took place more than half a century ago.

According to a trial document, the equivalent of an indictment under the current Criminal Procedure Law, the man robbed three youths of 115 yen on a street in Nagoya’s Kita Ward on Aug. 30, 1945. He attacked the youths with a dagger, killing one, who was 18, and wounding another.

The suspect was indicted the following month, but escaped from the Nagoya Detention House on Sept. 27.

To avoid letting the 15-year statute of limitations run out, as stipulated under the old criminal procedure law, the court had set new trial schedules for 50 years.

The court did not schedule a new schedule after the last date on July 3, 1986, and the statute of limitations finally expired on July 2.

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