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Japan: first death sentence of a Yakuza chieftain

Japan: first death sentence of a Yakuza chieftain

The Fukuoka District Court (Japan) on Tuesday, August 24, sentenced a yakuza clan chief, Satoru Nomura, to death, as well as his second, to life imprisonment.

Located in southwestern Japan, the city of Fukuoka will henceforth be famous for being the first in the country’s history to have sentenced to death a man from the yakuza, members of Japanese organized crime. The chief of the Kudo-kai clan, Satoru Nomura, 74, was convicted of four violent incidents between 1998 and 2014, which claimed the life of one person. The number two of the group, Fumio Tagami, was sentenced to life imprisonment for orchestrating the attacks, according to the French weekly Courrier International.

The Fukuoka District Court Prosecutor said that the Kudo-kai clan was behind the gunshot murder of a former head of a fishermen’s cooperative in 1998. The same organization was found guilty of gunshot wounded a former officer of the city’s departmental police, in charge of monitoring their case.

A conviction without proof

Despite the absence of any tangible evidence to decide the outcome of the deliberation, the judges considered that it was impossible that the two defendants were not made aware of these violent acts because of the extreme verticality organisation.

A decision that would have driven Satoru Nomura mad, threatening the prosecutor in charge of the case. “This trial is not fair at all, you will regret having made this decision all the rest of your life”, proclaimed Nomura, in remarks reported by the Nishi Nippon Shimbum, translated by the French weekly.

If the majority of citizens and the Japanese press seem to approve this judicial decision, a small part of the experts question the verdict rendered in the absence of material evidence. According to the Japanese television channel FNN, the two defendants appealed against the judgment.

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