Ogata Hidenori

Ex-gangster abandons appeal: death sentence finalized.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007

TOKYO — The death sentence given to a former gangster for two murders has been finalized after he withdrew an appeal, legal sources said Wednesday.

Hidenori Ogata was found guilty at the Saitama District Court in April of killing a 28-year-old man in August 2003 in Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture, over trouble involving a personal relationship. He was also convicted of abducting three women and killing one of them, a 21-year-old witness of his initial crime, while seriously injuring the other two. (Kyodo News)


Ex-gangster sentenced to death
for murdering 2 in Saitama in 2003

SAITAMA (Kyodo) The Saitama District Court sentenced a gangster to death Thursday for murdering two people and seriously wounding two others in Saitama Prefecture in August 2003.

The counsel for the gangster, Hidenori Ogata, 29, had sought to avoid the death penalty by arguing he was close to being in a mentally incompetent state when he killed Hideaki Suzuki, 28, over disputes about Suzuki's relationship with his girlfriend.

The girlfriend was 16 when she was sentenced by the Saitama District Court in 2004 to an indeterminate sentence of between five to 10 years in prison for encouraging Ogata to kill Suzuki.

The prosecutors said in summation that Ogata stabbed Suzuki to death on Aug. 18, 2003, in a condominium in Kumagaya in the prefecture because he got angry with Suzuki after his girlfriend talked to him about having problems with Suzuki.

He also abducted three women who were at the scene and strangled one of them, Ai Kanto, 21, in the mountains of Chichibu, also Saitama Prefecture, and seriously wounded the two others. (Kyodo News)