The murder case of a Chinese student in Japan last year attracted wide attention online, and is still making headlines in China after more than a year. The hearing took place on Monday, 11 December 2017. During the hearing, the alleged murderer had denied his intention of causing the death of the victim, who was reportedly protecting her roommate before being stabbed 12 times.
The alleged, Mr Chen Lifeng, an exchange student, will serve a 20-year prison sentence, as ruled by a Tokyo judge on Wednesday, 20 December. Clearly, it was not the death penalty that the victim’s mother had hoped for, after a year-long lament of her dear daughter.
The victim, Ms Jiang Ge, a 24-year-old Chinese student from Qingdao, Shandong province, was killed at her apartment in Tokyo on Nov 3, 2016. Ms Jiang was a postgraduate student at Hosei University.
In the early hours of Nov 3, 2016 (local time), Ms Jiang was stabbed to death in the corridor of her apartment by Mr Chen, ex-boyfriend of her roommate, Ms Liu Xin.
For the past one year, Ms Liu had disappeared and failed to offer condolences. In response, Ms Jiang’s mother exposed personal information and photos of Ms Liu and her parents on Weibo, urging investigative net users to post Ms Liu’s whereabouts and help shame her into responding to her requests. Ms Liu eventually came out with a public statement after six months of silence, denying all allegations. In the statement on Weibo in May, she wrote she was unaware when Ms Jiang was being killed.
For her part, Ms Liu had denied these accusations, insisting that she did not lock the door before Ms Jiang was attacked and claiming that she had been banned by police from speaking with any members of Ms Jiang’s family in order to not compromise the investigation. The two have been unable to reconcile, with Ms Liu blaming Ms Jiang’s mother for launching a massive cyber-bullying campaign against her which has ruined her life.
The Tokyo court began hearing the case on December 11th. On 20 December, the court finally delivered a verdict, finding Mr Chen guilty of intentional homicide and intimidation with the judge saying that he had arrived at the residence carrying a knife with the intention to commit murder.
It is known that capital punishment is a rarity in Japan with only two executions carried out last year.
During the hearing, Mr Chen’s defense lawyer said the victim Ms Jiang who was clutching the knife when a quarrel erupted, and it was only during a struggle that Ms Jiang’s knife accidentally slit her neck and she fell to the ground. Mr Chen then stabbed Ms Jiang nine times as she lay on the ground, but in the defense’s opinion, the fatal but accidental blow was to the neck.
The knife belonged to the laboratory where Mr Chen studied, the prosecutor’s report showed. But there was no evidence to prove that Mr Chen had got the knife from the lab, Mr Chen’s lawyer explained. He further validated that Ms Liu had handed Ms Jiang the knife and she refused to open the door when Ms Jiang begged for help. Ms Jiang bled to death outside her door, Mr Chen’s lawyer said.
Ms Jiang’s mother handed in a petition with more than 4.5 million signatures at the court in Tokyo on December 1 calling for the death penalty, people.cn reported.
At a press conference following the trial, she said that she was “very disappointed” with Japanese law and felt that she had let down the 4.5 million people who had signed her death penalty petition.