From The Kyoto Shimbun
February 13 2023
KYOTO – On 13th February, the Kyoto District Court (Judge Hiroshi Kawakami presiding) held the first trial of Junko Yamamoto’s mother, 78, who was accused of conspiring with her son, former doctor Naoki Yamamoto, 45, and others to kill her husband in 2011, a crime for which Naoki Yamamoto received 13 years in prison. Junko said: ‘I did not kill my husband and I did not conspire with him. I am not guilty” and denied the indictment.
According to the indictment, Junko allegedly conspired with Yamamoto and a doctor, Yosikazu Okubo (44), to kill her husband Yasushi, then 77, in some way between noon and 4pm on 5 March 2011 at a short-term rental flat in Tokyo.
In their opening statement, the prosecution pointed out that Junko and the other defendants killed Yasushi, who had been in and out of hospital repeatedly for mental illness, as a “good riddance”. They had planned the murder through e-mails and acted according to the plan on the day of the murder, and after the murder, Junko and Yamamoto exchanged bad words about Yasushi.
The defence explained that Junko wanted Yasushi to “die quickly”, but “there is a high wall between that and actually killing her”. The defence argued that the emails were exchanged between Yamamoto and Okubo and that they “did not know the specifics and full details of the plan”.
At Yamamoto’s trial over Yasushi’s murder, Junko appeared as a witness, but refused to testify, saying that she did not want her son to be charged with a crime. On 7th February, the Kyoto District Court sentenced Yamamoto to 13 years in prison for “conspiring to kill Yasushi, who had been in and out of hospital for many years due to mental illness, as a good riddance”.
Yamamoto and Okubo were also charged with commissioned murder of a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The cases will be tried separately and a trial date has not yet been set.
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