Hello, I’m here for your letter.
It was in early August that the editorial office received a letter in faltering Japanese. The sender was Giri Niraj Raj (35), a Nepalese national who is said to have committed the “Choshi Marina Chinese Woman Murder Case” in 2007.
“It was in September of 2007 that the nude body of a woman was found inside a pleasure boat at Choshi Marina in Chiba Prefecture. The woman was Wang Xiaoli, a Chinese citizen (34 at the time). Her body was found with multiple stab wounds, and it was determined that she died around July or August of 2003. The boat was registered to a relative of the defendant, and his involvement was discovered. He was arrested in October of the same year on suspicion of murder and other charges.
Last year, a trial was held at the Chiba District Court, and he was sentenced to 18 years in prison at the end of December.
However, Giri wrote in a letter that he had dumped her body, but had not killed her. This reporter visited the Tokyo Detention Center in Kosuge and met with Giri.
Giri used to work at a food factory in Chiba Prefecture, where he met Ms. Oh. They had been dating for a while, but broke up when they found out that Ms. Wang actually had a family in China. However, around the beginning of 2003, they lived together for a while while Ms. Wang was looking for a place to live. The defendant Giri recalls.
“One morning in late July or early August of ’15, I woke up and Mr. Wang was not there. One morning in late July or early August of 2003, I woke up to find Mr. Oh gone, and when I looked into the storage room, I found him lying on the floor with a bloody nose. There was no pulse and I knew that he was dead. I panicked and ran away from the scene, unable to call the police or other authorities.
Returning home a day or two later, Giri decided that he had to do something with the body, and at one point thought about dismantling it with a knife. After his arrest, it was pointed out to him that the cut he made was the same wound he had stabbed Ms. Wang with when he killed her.
Why did he leave the body unattended or attempt to dismember it?
“I still regret that I should have called the police right away. I still regret that I should have called the police immediately, but I was not sure if they would listen to me properly. Mr. Govinda (Mr. Govinda Prasad Mainali. Govinda (Govinda Prasad Mainali, a Nepalese national who was falsely accused in the 1997 TEPCO office worker case), I thought that even if I didn’t do anything, I would be accused of the crime.
So Giri carried the body to the boat and hid it inside.
More than four years had passed between the incident and the discovery of the body, and there was no evidence of the murder weapon. Even so, Giri was convicted because of “changes in testimony. Initially, Giri told the police that he had pushed Mr. Wang after an argument and that he had stopped moving. But at the trial, he testified that he woke up in the morning and found her dead. The main reason for the conviction was that there was a change in the core of his testimony. The defendant, Giri, said.
“When I was first interrogated by the police, I was surrounded by a number of police officers who asked me questions like, ‘Isn’t it like this? I got scared and said, ‘Yes, that’s right,’ and that’s how I ended up saying that I pushed Mr. Oh.
Yoji Ochiai, a lawyer and former prosecutor of the Public Security Bureau of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, said.
Former Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office prosecutor and lawyer Yoji Ochiai said, “It’s questionable to convict someone just because there was a change in his statement. It’s not a reasonable evaluation of the evidence. I wonder how the appellate court will judge this. I think it will be a trial to watch.
The appeal hearing will be held on September 28.
“From the September 10, 2021 issue of FRIDAY
Photo by： Takero Yatsuka (letter) Photo： Asahi Shimbun (boat)