The DNA of a Nepalese man convicted of killing a woman in 1997 was not detected in tests on the victim’s underwear, while several unclear DNA samples were found, according to his lawyers.
Sources familiar with the case said the only DNA that was clearly identified was the woman’s. The tests were conducted by the Tokyo High Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The man, Govinda Prasad Mainali, 45, is seeking a retrial.
Prosecutors will consider conducting a more detailed analysis as they believe the unclear DNA may include Mainali’s, the sources said.
The underwear was the last of 15 items of material evidence to undergo additional tests. The analyses have detected the DNA of another man matching the DNA of semen inside the woman and male body hair collected at the murder site, a vacant apartment in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo.
Tests were only able to clearly detect Mainali’s DNA on his clothing.
His lawyers have submitted an interim report on the DNA analysis to the Tokyo High Court as new evidence in support of his motion for a retrial.
The court, prosecutors and Mainali’s defense team will hold talks Tuesday on handling the results of the new tests, as well as 27 pieces of evidence on which DNA analysis has yet to be conducted.
The Tokyo District Court acquitted Mainali of murder and robbery charges in April 2000, citing a lack of evidence and saying a third party could have been at the murder site.
That December, however, the Tokyo High Court sentenced him to life in prison, saying his guilt had been proven sufficiently. The Supreme Court upheld the ruling in October 2003.
Mainali had pleaded not guilty and filed an appeal in March 2005.