- Title: NEPAL/JAPAN: Nepalese man acquitted of murder in Japan after 15 years in jail.
- Date: 7th November 2012
- Summary: KATHMANDU, NEPAL (NOVEMBER 7, 2012) (REUTERS) MAINALI'S FAMILY HOME REPORTERS OUTSIDE HIS HOME MORE REPORTERS MAINALI APPEARING AT THE BALCONY WAVING AND CLAPPING MAINALI AT BALCONY WHILE OUT OF VISION REPORTER ASKS IN JAPANESE: ARE YOUR MOTHER AND WIFE HAPPY WITH THE NEWS? (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) GOVINDA PRASAD MAINALI SAYING: "They are all overjoyed." MAINALI AT BALCONY WHILE OUT OF VISION REPORTER ASKS IN JAPANESE: HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE FINALLY CLEARED AFTER 15 YEARS IN JAIL? (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) GOVINDA PRASAD MAINALI SAYING: "It is just so joyous an occasion." MAINALI CLAPPING MAINALI AT BALCONY WHILE OUT OF VISION REPORTER ASKS IN JAPANESE: DO YOU HAVE ANY WORDS FOR THE JAPANESE POLICE AND PROSECUTORS? (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) GOVINDA PRASAD MAINALI SAYING: "I will explain everything at the news conference at two o'clock." VARIOUS OF MAINALI AT BALCONY MAINALI AT BALCONY WHILE OUT OF VISION REPORTER ASKS REPORTER ASKS: HAVE YOU JUST BEEN TOLD YOU'RE INNOCENT? MAINALI NODS WIDE OF BALCONY AND MAINALI MORE OF MAINALI SPEAKING IN NEPALESE, WAVING WIDE OF HOUSE AND BALCONY MAINALI AND SUPPORTERS CLAPPING MAINALI SPEAKING IN NEPALESE TO REPORTERS MAINALI ON BALCONY, WHILE OUT OF VISION FEMALE REPORTER IN JAPANESE ASKS: WHO IS AT HOME TODAY? (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) GOVINDA PRASAD MAINALI SAYING: "My relatives" MAINALI ON BALCONY, WHILE OUT OF VISION FEMALE REPORTER IN JAPANESE ASKS:WHAT ARE THE FAMILY SAYING? (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) GOVINDA PRASAD MAINALI SAYING: "They were saying 'Congratulations'" MANALI AND SUPPORTERS CLAPPING
- Embargoed: 22nd November 2012 12:00
- Location: Nepal, Japan
- Country: Japan Nepal
- Topics: International Relations,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAD7NCDSSYC80NCDJL2CFAENCDN
- Story Text: The Tokyo High Court acquits a Nepalese man of the 1997 murder of a Japanese woman after he served 15 years of a life sentence.
The Tokyo High Court reversed an earlier life sentence handed down to a Nepalese man, Govinda Prasad Mainali, on Tuesday (November 7) for the 1997 murder of a woman in Japan for which he had served 15 years in prison.
Mainali's case has come under the media spotlight and been closely watched in Japan, with many of the 46-year old's supporters believing it highlights the failing of the Japanese judiciary and police system.
Some gathered outside the Tokyo High Court to hear the ruling and cheered at the news of his acquittal.
"The previous verdict was overturned and we have a 'not guilty' verdict. It's been fifteen years since the incident and finally Govinda's innocence has been confirmed," said one unidentified supporter after he unfurled a banner announcing the verdict.
Japanese media reported that fresh DNA evidence indicated another man may have been the culprit.
According to Kyodo News agency, the new evidence showed the DNA of another man's semen in the victim's body matched the DNA of body hair collected at the apartment where she was killed. The DNA in the sample taken from the victim's nails did not match Mainali's.
Mainali, who came to Japan in 1994 and worked at a restaurant, admitted that he paid the victim for sex. A used condom containing his semen was found at the scene of the crime. The woman, who was from Tokyo, has never been named for privacy reasons.
The body of the victim was found in a vacant apartment in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward near where Mainali lived.
The fact that he knew the victim made him the prime suspect at the time.
He spent 15 years behind bars before his case was reopened in June 2012 and his life sentence suspended.
He was allowed to return to Nepal after leaving jail and the ruling was made in his absence.
While police have vowed to catch the murderer, Japanese media say the likelihood is slim after 15 years.
Talking to reporters from the balcony of his home in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, he said his family was "overjoyed".
"It is just so joyous an occasion," he added.
Mainali was accompanied by supporters and members of his family, who clapped and showered him with flower petals and food.
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