• Kyodo


Prosecutors demanded the death penalty Wednesday for a 63-year-old man accused of murdering his girlfriend while on parole in 2001.

Ryoji Ui was sentenced to life in 1980 for the murder of two women but was paroled in 1999.

He is now accused of strangling Tamami Okatake, 57, at his apartment in Okayama on Aug. 9, 2001, after he become angry when she refused to pay back money he had loaned her. He reportedly dumped her body in a bamboo grove in the city.

Prosecutors argued that he cannot be expected to be rehabilitated, given that the latest slaying was carried out while he was on parole. They added that the victim’s family was seeking the death sentence.

After the slaying, he fled to Aichi Prefecture, where he was arrested seven days later. He confessed to the slaying during the trial.

Ui’s lawyers argued against the death penalty, saying he will spend the rest of his life behind bars as there is no chance of his ever winning parole again. They also argued that he was a model inmate while he was serving his earlier sentence.

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