• Kyodo News

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A 72-year-old man charged with the murder of a woman in Tokyo may become the first person to be tried under the newly inaugurated lay judge system, with his trial set to start Aug. 3 at the Tokyo District Court, sources said Wednesday.

According to the court, the trial is scheduled to run for four straight days through Aug. 6.

Under the new trial system that officially kicked off May 21, six citizens randomly selected from eligible voters will sit as lay judges along with three professional judges on murder and other serious criminal cases at district courts.

In one of the first two murder cases to be tried under the system, Katsuyoshi Fujii was indicted May 22 on the charge of stabbing to death Haruko Bun, 66, on May 1 on a street in Adachi Ward.

Between May 21 and last Sunday, 83 people suspected of crimes qualifying for lay judge trials have been charged nationwide.

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