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VN asks Japan to hasten murder trial

Update: February, 04/2018 - 12:00

TOKYO — Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Nguyễn Quốc Cường has urged Japan’s law enforcement agencies to soon conclude investigations into the death of ten-year-old Vietnamese girl Lê Thị Nhật Linh, and bring the suspect to trial. 

At a meeting with Shigeki Takizaki, Director General of the Southeast and Southwest Asian Affairs Department under Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, last Friday, Cường said Linh’s family is collecting signatures at home and abroad to appeal to the Chiba prefecture court to sentence the culprit to death.

In reply, Takizaki again expressed his deep sympathy to Linh’s family and informed the ambassador that during a reception for Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kazuyuki Nakane on January 30, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh also asked the Japanese side to promptly bring the case to trial. 

The Japanese Foreign Ministry then had a working session with the Ministry of Justice on the issue. According to the Justice Ministry, Japan’s law enforcement agencies are urgently preparing procedures for the trial to take place soon. 

Takizaki further explained the judicial independence in Japan’s Constitution, noting his hope for an early trial and that the culprit would receive deserved punishment. 

The same day, Ambassador Cuong visited Linh’s family in Chiba Prefecture and affirmed that the Vietnamese Embassy would continue to protect the interests of the family.   

On March 24, 2017, Linh, a third-year grader at the elementary school in Matsudo, went missing after she left home in Matsudo to go to school. Two days later, she was found dead without clothes at a site near a drainage ditch about 12km from the school. 

Police believed Linh was kidnapped after leaving home at 8am on March 24. 

Japan arrested Yasumasa Shibuya, 46, a suspect in the murder, on April 14. Chiba police made the arrest after his DNA matched a DNA sample found on Linh’s belongings. 

Prosecutors of Japan’s Chiba prefecture on May 26 decided to prosecute Shibuya for murder. — VNS

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