The second criminal section of the Nagoya High Court last week rejected an eighth request for the retrial of Masaru Okunishi, 88, who has been on death row for the fatal poisoning of five women in 1961. It is deplorable that the court rejected the defense counsel's request for disclosure of yet unrevealed evidence in the prosecution's possession.

Okunishi has appealed the high court decision to the Supreme Court. The top court should make a decision that is convincing from every angle, upholding the principle that when there is uncertainty about a person's guilt, priority should be given to protecting the interests of the accused.

The fact that Okunishi was found innocent in his first trial and that at one time his request for retrial was accepted by the Nagoya court underlines the need for the judiciary to re-examine the case to ensure that no doubt remains over the justness of Okunishi's conviction.