• Kyodo

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The Nagasaki District Court sentenced a former police officer to a suspended three-year prison term Wednesday for pointing a gun at a man to force him to confess during questioning in January over a minor crime.

Norihiko Irie, 53, who was an assistant inspector at the Oura Police Station in Nagasaki, was also fined 50,000 yen.

Presiding Judge Hidefumi Hayashi figured in handing down the ruling that ordinary citizens would feel extreme fear if a gun were pointed at them, considering they are not used to seeing guns.

The judge said Irie’s act damaged public trust in police, but added, “There is no fear of him committing the same crime again, and he made an apology.”

According to the court, Irie summoned the man to the Takashima police box on Jan. 17 and accused him of removing a door from the post. He then pointed a gun at the man’s face to force him to confess.

Irie had argued with the man over the victim’s driving several days before the door was taken, and thus believed he was behind the theft.

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