• Kyodo

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A Japanese woman and her son went on trial over the murder of her husband, also the son’s father, at a court in Shanghai on Sunday. They are the first Japanese tried in China for murder since Beijing launched a reform drive in 1978.

Toshie Sato, 66, and her son Kimihiko, 41, are charged with beating to death Yoshiharu Sato, then 68, with a hammer on April 29 last year during a visit to Shanghai.

The two have said that Yoshiharu was prone to violence when drunk and that they disguised his death to make it look like he was killed in a traffic accident to avoid criminal charges, prosecutors said.

During the morning session, Kimihiko accused his mother of wielding the hammer, saying he was not involved in planning or carrying out the murder of his father.

The court was to hear Toshie’s testimony in the afternoon.

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