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Chinese man accused of murdering wife and dumping corpse in suitcase denies ‘intent to kill’

Zhou Shichao
Zhou Shichao has been accused of killing his wife and dumping her body in a suitcase (TV Asahi)

TOKYO (TR) – At the opening of the trial of a male Chinese national accused of killing his wife and dumping her body inside a suitcase last year, the defendant denied an “intent to kill,” reports TBS News.

At the Tokyo District Court on Monday, Zhou Shichao, 38, admitted to dumping the body of his wife, Yang Mei, aged 34 at the time, but denied the murder accusation. “There was not an intent to kill,” the defendant told the court.

According to the indictment, the body of Yang was found inside a suitcase retrieved from a canal in front of the Dai-ichi Hotel Tokyo Seafort on the afternoon of June 27, 2016. Prior to that, he allegedly strangled her to death inside an apartment in Arakawa Ward.

In its opening statement, the prosecution said, “Considering that cartilage around the neck of Miss Yang was broken, the intent to kill was strong.” The defense countered by claiming that Zhou acted out of self defense, saying that money problems led to a fight between the couple.

Technical skill trainee

Yang, also a Chinese national, entered Japan as a technical skill trainee in September of 2013. She worked in Kyoto at an automotive parts company. In March, 2014, she went missing and the company reported her disappearance to authorities in her home town in China.

On July 7, 2016. police first arrested Zhou for overstaying his visa. Prior to that, he had turned himself over to police, saying that he had information regarding the discovery of Yang’s body.

The ruling in the case is expected on September 11.