• Kyodo

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Kaoru Kobayashi, a former newspaper delivery man sentenced to death for kidnapping and killing a 7-year-old girl, has written a letter of apology but the victim’s parents refused to accept it, his lawyer said Saturday.

“If there really is what is called the world of spirits and I can meet your daughter, I would like to offer an apology from the bottom of my heart,” Kobayashi, 37, wrote, according to the lawyer.

The Nara District Court sentenced him to death in September for kidnapping and killing first-grade student Kaede Ariyama in November 2004.

According to the ruling, he took her to his apartment in Nara Prefecture and killed her after molesting her. He then mutilated her body and dumped it in a gutter on a farm road.

“I felt tears in my eyes when I was listening to (the parents’) statements at court,” the letter went on. “But I couldn’t stop taking a rude attitude as I did not want to let the media see (my tears). I was unable to express my feeling of apology even if I wanted to.”

He tried to send the letter to the parents through a police division dealing with crime victims. The parents refused to accept it, said the lawyer.

Last month, Kobayashi asked his lawyer to withdraw his appeal against the ruling, which is expected to be finalized soon.

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