Publisher Kodansha Ltd. was ordered Wednesday to pay 8.8 million yen in damages to a 49-year-old man for defamation, having suggested in one of its magazines that he had been involved in the murder of a family in Fukuoka in 2003.
The Tokyo District Court also ordered the Tokyo-based publisher to run an announcement in the weekly photo magazine Friday about the ruling, which states the article was not true and constituted an “illegal act of defamation.”
According to the court, the Oct. 10, 2003, edition of the magazine suggested Chitoshi Umezu was involved in the murder of his sister, Chika Matsumoto, 40, her husband and their two children. Umezu had demanded 33 million yen.
Three Chinese men were found guilty in the murders, one of whom, a 25-year-old former student, was executed this month in China. A Chinese court sentenced a 23-year-old accused accomplice to life imprisonment, while a 25-year-old man was sentenced to death by the Fukuoka District Court in May, and has appealed the ruling.
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