• Kyodo


A specialist in forensic medicine filed a criminal complaint Tuesday against the Nara Prefectural Police over the 2010 death of a doctor while he was in custody, claiming he was assaulted during the investigation.

Koji Dewa, a professor at Iwate Medical University, filed the complaint without specifying individual offenders after reviewing the findings of an autopsy on Yasuhiko Tsukamoto at the request of his family.

Tsukamoto died in police custody after he was arrested in connection with the death of a patient during an operation. He was suspected of professional negligence resulting in death.

The criminal complaint claims the 54-year-old doctor died Feb. 25, 2010, of multiple organ failure after suffering blows to his head, chest and a leg during interrogations in the 11 days before his death. His right leg showed widespread blood leakage under the skin.

The autopsy carried out at the time of his death said he died of an acute heart attack.

Noting that bleeding occurred under the skin of Tsukamoto’s leg, Dewa said in a news conference, “I can’t imagine why the autopsy found no problems in the detention and interrogation.”

The Nara police declined to comment, saying they are studying whether to accept the complaint.

Tsukamoto was arrested Feb. 6, 2010, for allegedly causing a patient to bleed to death in June 2006 after damaging a liver vein during an operation for a vascular tumor at the now-defunct Yamamoto Hospital in Nara Prefecture.

Tsukamoto’s family is suing the Nara Prefectural Government for ¥97 million for failing to take appropriate measures during his detention.

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