• Kyodo

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The Otsu District Court on Tuesday handed a 35-year-old man a suspended term for hiring a man via the Internet to murder his wife.

Hiroshi Kawashita of Moriyama, Shiga Prefecture, was convicted of attempting to murder his wife for insurance money. he was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison, suspended for eight years.

Presiding Judge Yoshitaka Onishi said Kawashita planned to hide his crime by using the Internet to find a third party who did not know him.

“The impact (the incident) had on society was grave,” Onishi said.

Kawashita was saddled with huge debts and hit on the idea of murdering his wife to collect roughly 110 million yen in insurance money.

Kawashita approached Makoto Isogawa, 34, who had posted a message on the Internet saying he was willing to do odd jobs, and offered him 30 million yen to kill his wife.

Isogawa tried to strangle Kawashita’s wife after she came home Oct. 29, 2003, but the woman broke free and fled. Isogawa was caught by a neighbor.

Isogawa was sentenced to seven years in prison for attempted murder.

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