• Kyodo

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Prosecutors will file an appeal against a ruling by the Nagoya High Court that allowed a retrial for a death row inmate convicted of murdering five women in a wine-poisoning case in Nabari, Mie Prefecture, in 1961, they said Thursday.

Approving the seventh retrial application filed by the defense counsel for Masaru Okunishi, 79, presiding Judge Junichi Koide said Tuesday that the court has serious doubts about the credibility of his confession and that the new evidence submitted by the defense counsel has sufficient power to lead to a possible acquittal in a retrial.

An appeal by the Nagoya High Public Prosecutor’s Office will be examined by other judges at the high court.

Okunishi, who is in a detention center in Nagoya, was initially acquitted by the Tsu District Court in 1964. But the Nagoya High Court reversed the decision in 1969 and sentenced him to death. The ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1972.

It is the fifth time a court has decided to allow a retrial for a death row inmate.

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