Death penalty sought for Japanese man over murders in Manila

Kyodo News

Posted at Jul 14 2017 03:43 AM

Japanese prosecutors demanded Thursday the death penalty for a Japanese man who allegedly arranged the murders of two compatriots in Manila in 2014 and 2015 in order to collect insurance payouts.

In their closing argument at the Kofu District Court in Yamanashi Prefecture, west of Tokyo, the prosecutors maintained Toshihiko Iwama, 43, committed a "heinous and inhuman" crime when he orchestrated the killings. They added there is no possibility of rehabilitation.

Iwama's defense counsel said the accused was not cash-strapped at the time of the crime and had no motive to kill the two. Iwama also said at the court, "I never committed (the murders)."

The district court is scheduled to hand down a ruling on Aug. 25.

According to the indictment, Iwama conspired with his accomplices to hire a local hit man who shot and killed Shinsuke Toba, 32, in October 2014 and murdered Tatsuya Nakamura, 42, in a similar way between the end of August and beginning of September in 2015 in the Philippine capital.

Both victims were from Yamanashi Prefecture. Toba, a manager of an osteopathic clinic, lived in Nirasaki and Nakamura, a company executive, was a resident of Fuefuki.