crime

Man retracts confession; pleads not guilty to killing ex-girlfriend

24 Comments

A 41-year-old man on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to murdering his ex-girlfriend in her apartment in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, last January.

In the opening session of his trial at the Mito District Court, the defendant, Mitsunori Yasu, retracted his confession and said he made it after three days of interrogation when he was so despondent that he could no longer make any sense out of what he was saying or what he was being asked, TBS reported.

According to prosecutors, Yasu, who was a construction worker, allegedly strangled to death Kiyomi Kobayashi, 47, at her apartment at around 8 p.m. on Saturday Jan 10. Her body was found the next day. The couple had lived together for several months until late December 2013.

Surveillance camera footage showed Yasu using a key to enter the apartment on Saturday evening. Yasu said he went back to the apartment to try and convince Kobayashi to get back together with him, but that she was alive when he left.

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24 Comments
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but that she was alive when he left

.

But after 47 years of life, she just up and strangled to death.

Should have used the "I was drinking and don't remember anything" defense. The get out of jail free card of Japan.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Get the evidence from the crime scene and stop relying on confession. Having trained professional police would help.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

The next guy to be wrongly imprisoned for a crime....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Cricky, agreed. Confessions are often wrong for bizarre reasons, not the least of which is Japan's loving to force one from any suspect. Remember the guy in Matsumoto who was made to "confess" to using nerve gas on his wife, when it was really Aum?

You cannot kill a person without leaving physical evidence. Find the evidence...if you got 3-4 pieces of corroborating evidence, you have your man or woman. If there's no evidence, keep looking.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I agree with Peter, there's tremendous pressure on the cops to get someone to confess. I'm positive that would also make them want to get this boyfriend to confess.

Let's see the hard evidence and find who really did the murder.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The next guy to be wrongly imprisoned for a crime....

And you know because? Everything seems to point to him killing her. You think she just happened to die the same evening he went to her apartment to "try and convince" her to get back together with him? I'm all for confessions if the case is clear cut like this one. Much better then some of the cases in the US where murderers get off scot-free due to lack of evidence.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

therougouNov. 26, 2014 - 11:09AM JST And you know because? Everything seems to point to him killing her. You think she just happened to die the same evening he went to her apartment to "try and convince" her to get back together with him?

In that case he left evidence. Being somewhere when someone dies is normally enough to get you under suspicion, physical evidence is expected for a charge. Evidently you prefer a world where people are conveniently booked for crimes they may not have committed though.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In that case he left evidence.

He used to live with her, and the fact that he was there that night is already proven by camera. So that isn't even an issue. He had also been seen brandishing a knife while getting in heated arguments with her.

Yasu said he went back to the apartment to try and convince Kobayashi to get back together with him, but that she was alive when he left.

This seems to contradict another Japanese article I read that his lawyer said he was over the split-up already. Not sure which is correct, but either way he is fishy. He wasn't in a torture chamber, guys. He wasn't beaten. He got questioned for a few days and admitted her killed her. End of story.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

said he made it after three days of interrogation when he was so despondent that he could no longer make any sense out of what he was saying or what he was being asked, TBS reported.]

Why was he still being held after 3 days of interrogation. If they couldn't break him earlier, then whatever he said was going to be coerced. Japan's police really needs to watch a few episodes of "The Mentalist"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Much better then some of the cases in the US where murderers get off scot-free due to lack of evidence

Oh, yes. God forbid that anyone should be acquitted for a trivial reason like lack of evidence....

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Yep! That's the Japanese law system. You are guilty until proven innocent or, until the police get a forced confession from you after three days of intense interrogation, sleep deprivation and starvation. I'm not saying he is innocent. He was in the house and he had a motive, but relying on forced confessions in the 21st century is absolutely absurd!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Oh, yes. God forbid that anyone should be acquitted for a trivial reason like lack of evidence...

The point is, evidence isn't always clear-cut. But a confession is. Those ojisans could ask me questions for a month if they like. Its not going to make me confess to a crime I didn't commit.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@therougou

You've never been interrogated by Japanese police, have you?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Since he had lived together with her, it would only be natural to find evidence of him like hair or so, but in this case that wouldn't be enough. The fishy part is why would he use a key to enter the apartment when he only wanted to talk with her?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

You've never been interrogated by Japanese police, have you?

No, I am a well-behaved citizen. I've been with a friend who was wrongly accused though. He was asked some questions and let go. Not really sure what the charge was, just some weird guy called the cops when he was the aggressor.

Wikipedia offers a good, unbiased report on this topic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criminal_justice_system_of_Japan

One of the benefits of confession is that it can lead to the suspect giving up important facts about the crime that only he/she would know. I agree that the interrogations should be taped though, as has already been proposed.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I agree that the interrogations should be taped though, as has already been proposed.

Good point, therougou san

And it raise the questions, Was this interrogation recorded? If not, why not?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You've never been interrogated by Japanese police, have you?

Have you?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Was this interrogation recorded? If not, why not?

Japanese police don't allow fully videotaped interrogations. That would kind of prevent them from using coercive techniques. Heaven forbid!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japanese police don't allow fully videotaped interrogations. That would kind of prevent them from using coercive techniques. Heaven forbid!

Of course they won't record themselves and submit the tape unless required to do so. And as mentioned in the wikipedia article, they are working on making it a requirement. That won't happen overnight though.

I'm not saying these interrogations are perfect, but they have their upsides in that they help convict people that otherwise might get off free by simply hiring a sneaky lawyer. This ultimately means less murderers, rapists, and scumbags out on the street and makes Japan a safer place.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"You've never been interrogated by Japanese police, have you?"

"Have you?"

No, but I know a couple of people who have. It was unpleasant in the extreme. Plus, take a gander at the conviction rate for murderers after the police obtained "confessions." and compare that with other countries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, first off , Japanese Bdetectives are the laziest cops in the so/called modern world. They take one look at the situation, decide who is guilty, and work their butts off to fabricate evidence against their chosen victim , whether he is guilty or not. I know since I have been the victim of their corrupt police work . Is it a wonder that over 90 % of all cases are solved by confessions only, and about the same number recant after a good nite's sleep?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

CrickyNOV. 26, 2014 - 08:52AM JST Having trained professional police would help.

Yeah, err, best of luck with that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"And you know because? Everything seems to point to him killing her. You think she just happened to die the same evening he went to her apartment to "try and convince" her to get back together with him? I'm all for confessions if the case is clear cut like this one. Much better then some of the cases in the US where murderers get off scot-free due to lack of evidence."

@therougou, everything you have described in your posts above is circumstantial evidence.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Other circumstantial evidence exists in that that the victim phoned her evening part time job to say that she would come into work shortly ("kore kara") after she had finished speaking to a male acquaintance - Mr. Yasu from the timing - who was at her home. This means that after Mr. Yasu left the victim there would have been only a rather small window of time - before the victim set off for her part time job - in which the third party or parties could have murdered the deceased.

Further both the victim, her clothes, and her apartment showed no signs of harm, a struggle, or even defensive wounds, despite having died of suffocation as a result of strangulation -- which may suggest that the murderer was not a rapist or thief and would have been likely to have been to someone known to the victim.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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