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The Saitama District Court on Friday ordered the former leader of a gangster group and two associates to pay 70.9 million yen in damages to the relatives of an “enka” singer for their role in him being beaten to death in 1998.

The focus of the case was whether the 50-year-old former leader of a group affiliated with the Inagawa-kai syndicate — who was in detention at the time and unable to directly order his underling’s actions — could be held responsible under the Civil Code for his misdeeds as an employer.

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