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Lawyer: Japan Should Avoid Slay Case

  Criminal Law  -   POSTED: 2008/02/25 14:34

The lawyer for a Japanese businessman arrested on suspicion of fatally shooting his wife here in 1981 said Monday he would formally urge the Japanese government not to cooperate with American investigators.

The businessman, Kazuyoshi Miura, was arrested Friday in the U.S. territory of Saipan as he tried to pass through immigration control at the airport to take a flight home. Miura, 60, was convicted in Japan in 1994 of killing his wife, Kazumi Miura, but the verdict was overturned 10 years ago.

"Given that this case has been closed in Japan, the Justice Ministry and Japanese police should no longer have to respond to requests from the police for evidence or to cooperate with the investigation," said Miuri's lawyer, Shinichiro Hironaka.

Miura and his wife were visiting Los Angeles on Nov. 18, 1981, when they were shot in a parking lot. Miura was hit in the right leg, while his 28-year-old wife was shot in the head. The shooting caused an international uproar, in part because he blamed the attack on robbers, reinforcing Japanese perceptions of America as violent.

The arrest came after cold-case detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department worked with authorities in Saipan and in Guam, police said in a statement. Police did not make details on the arrest available.

At a bail hearing Monday in Saipan, Miura told the court the killing "took place several decades ago, and it is unlikely that I will destroy evidence or run away," according to the Kyodo News Agency.

The court, however, denied him bail. A preliminary hearing was set for March 5, said Rosie Ada, deputy clerk at Superior Court. An arraignment was also slated for March 10, she said.


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