Peruvian to be retried for murder of 7-year-old girl in Hiroshima
The Hiroshima High Court on Tuesday ordered a lower court to retry the case of a Peruvian man convicted of sexually assaulting and killing a 7-year-old girl in the city of Hiroshima in 2005. Presiding Judge Yasuhide Narazaki quashed the Hiroshima District Court’s conviction of Jose Manuel Torres Yagi, 36, who was given a life term, and sent the case back to the lower court.
In the decision, the judge said the district court failed to perform a full examination of the case, noting that no deliberations were made on the credibility of prosecutors’ investigative reports.
The three-judge high court panel acted on appeals from both the defendant and prosecutors against the district court’s ruling.
According to the lower court ruling, Torres molested Airi Kinoshita, a primary school first grader, and strangled her to death in Hiroshima’s Aki Ward on Nov 22, 2005. He later abandoned the girl’s body in a cardboard box. Airi was on her way home from school at the time.
During the district and high court trials, Torres pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and molestation resulting in death. The prosecutors had sought the death penalty for Torres.
In a decision on July 4, 2006, the district court avoided giving Torres the death penalty and instead sentenced him to life imprisonment, saying that the number of victims was one and that Torres had no criminal record.
The focal point at the appeal trial had been whether the high court would give the death sentence to Torres.
During the high court battle, the prosecutors tendered new data on Torres’ record of two sexual crimes against girls in Peru and sought the death penalty for him.
The defense counsel argued that Torres had no intention to kill or molest the girl.
Torres was arrested Nov 30, 2005, eight days after Airi’s body was found.