JAPAN: DEATH PENALTY GIVEN TO FRAUD-RING MEMBER
March 19, 2009: the Tokyo High Court in Japan gave the death penalty to a billing-fraud group member over the death of four other members in 2004 following infighting in the group, overruling a lower court decision that sentenced him to life in prison.
Junichi Watanabe, 32, was the third person to be sentenced to death in the murder and injury case. In 2007, the Chiba District Court found all 18 defendants guilty, sentencing two of them to death. Presiding Judge Tetsuji Nagaoka ruled that Watanabe confined the four members of the ring in a building unit in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward in October 2004, killing them. (Sources: Kyodo News, 19/03/2009)