The widow of an Akita lawyer who was killed in November on Thursday condemned the conduct of police present at the scene of her husband's murder and said the official account of what happened does not match what she saw that day.
The lawyer, Hirotaka Tsuya, 55, was stabbed by Katsuo Sugawara, 66, who had broken into his home on Nov 25. Two police officers who arrived at the scene saw the men struggling and mistook Tsuya for the perpetrator because he was holding a gun. They restrained him, but in the confusion, Sugawara produced a knife and fatally stabbed Tsuya.
Prosecutors indicted Sugawara on Nov 25. After the incident, the chief of the Akita prefectural police apologized to Tsuya's family and said he was sorry that Tsuya had lost his life even though police officers were at the scene.
However, on Thursday, Tsuya's widow, Ryoko, told a news conference: "The events as the police have described them do not correlate with what I saw with my own eyes. I want to tell everyone what I saw. If I don't, my husband cannot rest in peace."
She was joined by a three-man group of lawyers led by Kazuhiro Yoshioka who are pushing for a follow-up investigation to get to the truth of the matter.
Police have claimed that they saw Tsuya waving the gun and assumed he was the assailant. Ryoko said that it was Sugawara who had the gun and that when the two men started to fight, her husband wrested the gun from Sugawara. The police officers first restrained Tsuya and pinned his arms behind him, at which point Sugawara stabbed him. Ryo pointed out that if her husband's movements had not been restricted by police, he might have been able to avoid Sugawara's knife.© Compiled from news reports