Nepalese man sentenced for life given retrial over Tokyo murder case

By Adam Westlake (Japan Daily Press): An announcement on Thursday stated that the Tokyo High Court has agreed to reopen a case involving the murder of a Japanese woman in which a Nepalese man given a life sentence in 1997. Details of how the decision was reached have not yet been made public, but the key factor is based on how a DNA analysis was interpreted by the court. A retesting proved that 45 year old Govinda Prasad Mainali’s DNA was not a match with the semen that was found inside the woman’s body.

The sample was a match with the DNA from body hair that found inside the apartment where the woman was murdered, as well with DNA found on her body, coat, and underwear. There has been no match to Mainali’s DNA found at the crime scene. With this information, Mainali’s defense lawyers have successfully argued that his guilty verdict should be withdrawn, as he was not the last person to have contact with the victim, and the evidence shows that there could not have been a third person in the room.

The prosecution’s argument has been centered on the fact that Mainali had a key to the woman’s apartment, and that she was known to have had sex with an indefinite number of men. Mainali was originally arrested in May of 1997 for the March 19th murder, and he was acquitted in April of 2000 by the Tokyo District Court. However, the Tokyo High Court overturned the ruling eight months later, and he was sentenced to a life term in prison, a decision that was upheld by the Supreme Court. He has been filing for a retrial with the high court since 2005.

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