Kobe Pawn Shop - Ogata Case

JIADEP Note: In another violation of the constitution, Hidehiko Ogata, originally found innocent in the murder of a Kobe pawnshop owner, was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Osaka High Court on September 24, 2009. It is quite shocking that none of the English dailies reported this disturbing decision.

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Charged with Murder: Defendant Acquitted
July 1, 2008


KOBE The Kobe District Court on Monday acquitted a man who was indicted for the murder-robbery of a pawnshop owner in Kobe in October 2005, determining the allegations were not proven beyond reasonable doubt. Hidehiko Ogata, 49, was accused of killing Makoto Nakashima, 66, and stealing 10,000 yen in cash from his shop, but denied the charges following his arrest last September, telling the court, ‘‘I went to the pawnshop, but I was not involved in the case.’’ Prosecutors had sought life imprisonment for Ogata, saying his fingerprints were found at the crime scene and that another person had seen him leaving the shop. Rejecting their argument, the judge said such evidence does not show the defendant’s involvement in the crime. Ogata’s defense lawyer, Yoshihide Todani, said the prosecutors had submitted only ‘‘flimsy’’ evidence—fingerprints and footmarks—without presenting a murder weapon.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Man cleared in robbery-murder Wednesday, July 2, 2008

KOBE (Kyodo) The Kobe District Court has acquitted a man charged in the October 2005 robbery-murder of a Kobe pawnshop owner, ruling the allegations were not proved beyond reasonable doubt. Hidehiko Ogata, 49, was accused of killing Makoto Nakashima, 66, and stealing ¥10,000 in cash from his shop but denied the charges following his arrest last September. He told the court, "I went to the pawnshop, but I was not involved in the case." Presiding Judge Makoto Okada said in his ruling Monday, "Reasonable doubts remain over whether the defendant was the culprit." Prosecutors had sought life imprisonment for Ogata, saying his fingerprints were found at the crime scene and another person saw him leaving the shop. Rejecting their argument, the judge said such evidence did not show Ogata's involvement in the crime. Ogata's lawyer, Yoshihide Todani, said the prosecutors had submitted "flimsy" evidence — fingerprints and footmarks — without presenting a murder weapon. ==================