Nepali hopes to prove innocence


Govinda Prasad Mainali, a Nepali national serving a life sentence in a Yokohama prison for the murder of a 39-year-old woman in 1997, has in a series of letters expressed his hope based on three recent high-profile acquittals that his innocence will be proven some day, his support group said Thursday.

“If another trial were to take place, my innocence will be proven just like Sugaya of the Ashikaga incident and Sakurai and Sugiyama of the Fukawa incident,” Mainali, 44, wrote in a letter to the support group.

Toshikazu Sugaya was freed in June 2009 after a wrongful conviction jailed him for 17 years over the 1990 murder of 4-year-old Mami Matsuda. Shoji Sakurai and Takao Sugiyama were acquitted in May more than 40 years after they were sentenced to life in 1970 over the murder of a 62-year-old carpenter.

After his life sentence was finalized by the Supreme Court in 2003, Mainali was transferred from the Tokyo Detention Center to the Yokohama prison, according to the group.

Since then, he has been living in a solitary cell. He spends his days writing to his family in Nepal and his supporters.