JAPAN. DEATH SENTENCE UPHELD FOR ROLE IN BURYING 2 ALIVE
May 20, 2008: the Osaka High Court in Japan upheld the death sentence given to a 23 year old unemployed man for his role in the group assault and live burial of two men in 2006.
Presiding Judge Masaki Wakahara said the actions of Ryuji Kobayashi were cruel and without a trace of humanity, upholding the ruling of the Osaka District Court.
According to the ruling, Shoji Fujimoto, 21, a student of Higashiosaka College, and Tetsuya Iwagami, 21, unemployed, were lured to Okayama by Kobayashi and several associates in June 2006.
The group assaulted the two men and then buried them alive at a waste disposal site in the city, with Kobayashi playing a leading role. The two victims had previously clashed with 23 year old Yuta Tokumitsu, unemployed, one of seven other people indicted over their involvement in the attack. The judge said there was no reason to withhold the death sentence and dismissed an appeal from Kobayashi's defence counsel. (Sources: Daily Yomiuri Online, 21/05/2008)