• Kyodo


A male inmate at Nagoya Prison who died in 2001 after allegedly being assaulted with a high-pressure fire hose by prison officers was found to have severe lacerations deep in his rectum, sources said Thursday.

One of the officers, Mikio Otomaru, 46, identified earlier as a deputy chief warden, was arrested by prosecutors Wednesday on suspicion of causing the inmate’s death.

Medical examinations showed the 43-year-old inmate had lacerations of several centimeters more than 10 cm inside his anus, the sources said.

The Nagoya District Public Prosecutor’s Office believes the victim was brutally assaulted, as such wounds are unlikely to be caused in any other way, the sources said.

When the incident came to light in October, the Justice Ministry claimed the inmate died of self-inflicted wounds.

Otomaru is suspected of ordering other prison officers to confine the inmate in a cell Dec. 14, 2001, where he was restrained and subjected to anal torture with a high-pressure fire hose. , the sources said. No other officers have been charged.

The inmate suffered serious injuries to his rectum and died of infection the following day. The prison officers had alleged that the inmate had spread feces around his cell and kicked them.

Otomaru has denied the charges, but some officers have told prosecutors he was involved in the violence, investigative sources said.

It is the second death of an inmate at Nagoya Prison allegedly resulting from abuse by prison officers.

Six guards at the prison were charged in 2001 with inflicting serious injuries on inmates last May and September. One of those inmates died.

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