The Tokyo Reporter

Murder trial of Japanese national in brutal slayings in Philippines postponed

Hiroyuki Nagahama, 55, has been accused of ordering the killing two Japanese tourists in the province of Palawan (TV Asahi)

PHILIPPINES (TR) – The trial of a Japanese man accused in the brutal murder of two male Japanese tourists during a sightseeing trip last month in the western province of Palawan was postponed on Friday, reports TBS News (June 16).

On June 16, Hiroyuki Nagahama, 55, appeared at a local court for allegedly killing Yoshihiro Arai, a 24-year-old resident of Ibaraki Prefecture, and Masaru Itani, a 59-year-old native of Osaka, in the town of Culion on May 30.

However, the judge postponed the trial after the defendant revealed he did not have legal counsel present.

According to authorities, Nagahama ordered members of a gang known as Commando Brotherhood to shoot Arai and Itani on the island of West Galoc before dumping their bodies into the sea. Nagahama, also a native of Osaka, denies the allegations.

Police have also arrested five members of the gang, including Michael Suangco, a boat operator, for either carrying out the crime or serving as a witness.

According to a previous report, both victims were reported missing on May 30. Witnesses have stated that the gang members cut up the bodies of the victims before disposal in the open water.

It is not known when the trial will resume.

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