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Supreme Court upholds death sentence over double-murder in Osaka in ’04

Katsuaki Suzuki
Katsuaki Suzuki (TV Asahi)

TOKYO (TR) – The Supreme Court has upheld a death sentence handed to a 46-year-old man over the murder of a former company president and his wife in Izumi City in 2004, reports TV Asahi (Dec. 8).

On Friday, presiding judge Soburo Tokura described the murder of Kenji Asai, 74, former president of a textiles company, and his wife Kiyo, 73, at their home by 50-year-old Katsuaki Suzuki, an employee at a construction company, as “malicious.”

“It is recognized that there was strong murderous intent on the part of the defendant, with the grave results — the deprivation of two lives,” said the judge in handing down the ruling.

The bodies of the couple were found packed in steel drums behind a vehicle inside a rented garage in Hannan City in 2009.

According to police, Suzuki rented the garage in 2004. The defendant paid rent for one month to the manager of the space and disappeared. Suzuki was arrested after discovered his fingerprints on the vehicle.

Killed with a blunt instrument

According to the indictment, Suzuki killed both persons with blows to the head delivered by a blunt instrument due to dispute over money in December of 2004. He then packed the bodies in the drums and concealed them in the garage.

Suzuki also stole 14 items from the couple, including two high-end wristwatches — where was later sold at a pawnshop — and the couple’s car.

“Killing two people by beating their heads with a blunt instrument is murder in its most ruthless and malicious form,” judge Tokuro said.

“Death sentence is unavoidable”

In June of 2013, the Osaka District Court first handed Suzuki a death sentence. The Osaka High Court later provided the same ruling.

During the most recent trial, the defense argued that a third party was responsible for the crimes. However, given that Suzuki rented the garage and sold the items, the court disagreed and indicated that the previous two court decisions were just.

“With the criminal liability being high, the death sentence is unavoidable,” judge Tokuro said.