In the retrial of Mr. Govinda Prasad Mainali, a Nepalese man convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the March 1997 robbery-murder of a 39-year-old Tokyo woman, the Tokyo High Court eventually acquitted him Nov. 7, pointing to the strong possibility that a third person was the perpetrator.

Mr. Mainali is back in Nepal. He was released when the court decided on June 7 to retry him and was immediately deported for overstaying his visa. The acquittal came 15½ years after he was arrested. The reason for the delayed justice is clear. The police and the prosecution tailored their investigations to support their contention that Mr. Mainali was guilty, and did not disclose important evidence at the outset of his trial that would have undermined their case. A third-party panel must be established to examine this unpardonable conduct and make public its findings.

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