Prosecutors, defense lawyers not to appeal life term for Peruvian man

12th August, 2010


Prosecutors and defense lawyers said Wednesday they will not appeal a ruling by the Hiroshima High Court on July 28 sentencing a Peruvian man to life imprisonment for sexually assaulting and killing a 7-year-old girl in 2005.

The prosecutors had sought the death penalty for Jose Manuel Torres Yagi, 38, but have determined there are no appropriate grounds for lodging an appeal with the Supreme Court, said Torao Tsukuma, deputy chief prosecutor at the Hiroshima High Public Prosecutors Office.

Lawyer Honen Kubo, meanwhile, declined to comment on the latest decision by the defense team which had earlier expressed a plan to take the case to the Supreme Court, arguing the defendant should receive a definite prison term because he had not intended to kill or sexually assault the victim.

Torres Yagi has been convicted of molesting and strangling Airi Kinoshita, a primary school first-grader, in the city of Hiroshima on Nov 22, 2005, and abandoning her body in a cardboard box in a vacant lot.

In upholding a 2006 lower court decision, the high court said Torres Yagi should be sentenced to life in prison, noting there was only one victim and that the defendant did not have a prior criminal record in Japan.

Top court to hold deliberations on Peruvian man's murder conviction

Saturday 14th February 2009

The Supreme Court has decided to hold deliberations on the case of a Peruvian man convicted of killing a 7-year-old girl in Hiroshima in 2005, accepting the man’s appeal against a high court ruling, judicial sources said Friday. In December last year, the Hiroshima High Court quashed the Hiroshima District Court’s conviction of Jose Manuel Torres Yagi, 37, who was given a life term, and said, in sending the case back to the lower court, that ‘‘deliberations were not sufficient.’’

The Hiroshima District Court spent two months on pretrial arrangement proceedings and five consecutive days on intensive deliberations, issuing its sentence only around 50 days after the first hearing, demonstrating the effectiveness of the new procedure introduced to produce speedy rulings. According to the district court ruling, Torres molested Airi Kinoshita, a primary school first grader, and fatally strangled her in Hiroshima’s Aki Ward on Nov 22, 2005. He later abandoned the girl’s body in a cardboard box.

Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008

Peruvian's conviction for killing young girl sent back to lower court

HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) 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 2005.

Presiding Judge Yasuhide Narazaki quashed the Hiroshima District Court's conviction of Jose Manuel Torres Yagi, 36, who had been given a life sentence, and sent the case back to the lower court.

Narazaki 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 Torres and prosecutors against the district court's ruling.

According to the lower court ruling, Torres molested Airi Kinoshita and strangled her to death in Aki Ward, Hiroshima, on Nov. 22, 2005. He later abandoned the girl's body in a cardboard box. Kinoshita had been on her way home from school.

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.

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 Kinoshita was his only victim and that Torres had no prior criminal record.

The focal point at the appellate trial was whether the high court would sentence Torres to death.

During the high court battle, the prosecutors tendered new data on Torres' record of two sexual crimes against girls in Peru.

His lawyers argued that he had no intention to kill or molest the girl.

Torres was arrested Nov. 30, 2005, eight days after Kinoshita's body was found.


Murder case sent back to lower court for review

The Yomiuri Shimbun

HIROSHIMA--After hearing appeals over a case in which a Peruvian man was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder and sexual assault of a 7-year-old girl in Hiroshima in 2005, the Hiroshima High Court on Tuesday dismissed a district court ruling on the case and returned it to the lower court for further scrutiny.

The defendant, Jose Manuel Torres Yagi, 36, was charged with strangling Airi Kinoshita, a first-grade primary school student, on Nov. 22, 2005, as she made her way home from school.

Presiding Judge Yasuhide Narazaki said proceedings in the lower court had failed to fully examine all evidence in the case, and therefore its conclusions were not legally valid.

The judge said: "It's incomprehensible that the lower court dismissed [prosecution] investigators' records of statements made by Yagi. Defining the crime scene [too broadly] as 'Yagi's apartment or its environs' also was questionable."

In July 2006, the Hiroshima District Court sentenced Yagi to life in prison, calling his actions vicious, cruel and extremely selfish. The court was not convinced Yagi deserved the death penalty as he did not have a criminal record and the crime had only one victim.

Both the prosecution and the defense appealed to the high court. The prosecutors' appeal restated their initial demand that the death penalty be applied, while the defense counsel argued Yagi was mentally incompetent and should be found not guilty.

Kenichi Kinoshita, the victim's father, said at a press conference held after the high court's dismissal: "I was prepared to accept a sentence of life imprisonment [for Yagi], so [the dismissal] surprised me."

(Dec. 10, 2008)


被害者一人でも」検察、死刑求める 広島小1女児殺害