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Nagano Murder Hearings Not in Sight 1 Year after Incident

Nagano Murder Hearings Not in Sight 1 Year after Incident

   Nagano, May 24 (Jiji Press)--Despite Saturday marking a full year since a fatal stabbing and shooting incident in Nagano Prefecture, central Japan, it remains uncertain when hearings will begin in the trial of defendant Masanori Aoki.
   Aoki, 32, charged with murder, is set to face a lay judge trial. Pretrial procedures to narrow down issues to be examined have yet to begin, however.
   According to his lawyer, Aoki has accepted visits but has shown little interest in most things, remaining silent about the incident, in which four people were killed. He is being held at a facility in Nagano, after he was indicted last November following three months of detention for psychiatric evaluation.
   Aoki meets with his lawyer for about 20 minutes once a week.
   He is said to provide only minimal responses to questions in such sessions. He sometimes requests books and magazines but declines to receive records of statements investigators collected from those involved in the incident.

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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