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A former Fukui Prison inmate who was awarded damages in December 2002 after being mistreated by guards had his compensation reduced Monday because his initial complaint was exaggerated.

The Nagoya High Court’s Kanazawa branch cut the compensation the national government must pay to the 37-year-old man to 350,000 yen from the 520,000 yen he was awarded by the Kanazawa District Court.

The man was awarded damages after the prison locked him in solitary confinement for trying to send a letter to his brother to complain about his mistreatment in the prison.

The high court ruled that the man’s testimony could not be fully believed.

The man testified that a prison official hit him in the head in August 1998. A year later, he sent his brother a letter about the incident.

Prison officials censored the man’s letter and locked him in solitary confinement for 20 days as punishment.

The government said the official had only touched the man’s head with his finger. The high court backed the lower court ruling that it is illegal to punish a prisoner for sending a letter to complain about treatment in prison.

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