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With the unanimous decision by the four justices of the top court’s Second Petty Bench, Shoji Sakurai, 62, and Takao Sugiyama, 63, are likely to be acquitted of murdering 62-year-old carpenter Shoten Tamamura and robbing him of ¥107,000 in the town of Tone, Ibaraki Prefecture.

The life sentences were finalized in 1978 and the two men were released on parole in 1996.

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