• Kyodo


The Chiba District Court said Monday the lay judge trial for the man charged with the murder of a 9-year-old Vietnamese girl last year will start on June 4.

Yasumasa Shibuya, 46, was also indicted on other charges, including abandonment of the body of Le Thi Nhat Linh, a case that shocked the city of Matsudo. Shibuya was head of the local parents’ association at the time she disappeared.

Prosecutors said Shibuya strangled the third-grader to death and abandoned her body near a drainage ditch in nearby Abiko after abducting her by car on the morning of March 24, 2017. The victim disappeared shortly after leaving home to walk to school.

Shibuya has refused to speak about the case since his arrest in April, investigative sources said, with his lawyers declining to comment.

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