Govinda Mainali, victim of Japan’s faulty criminal justice system, arrives home
Govinda Prasad Mainali, who served 15 years in Japanese jail after being wrongly accused of choking to death a 39-year-old Japanese woman in March 1997, arrived home Saturday noon.
Mainali, 45, of Jhapa, who was released by the Tokyo High Court to open retrial recently, arrived Kathmandu via Bangkok with his wife Radha and two daughters- Mithila, 20, and Alisha, 18. Mainali's mother and relatives had reached Tribhuvan International Airport to welcome him.
He was released with the Japanese court granting new trial on June 7. Ruling for retrial was based on a new analysis that showed the DNA of semen found in the victim's body did not match with Mainali's, but did match with the DNA of body hair collected at the vacant apartment where the woman, an employee of Tokyo Electric Power Co., was murdered, indicating another man was the killer. The victim's name has been withheld for privacy reasons.
The case grabbed headlines, particularly in Japan's tabloid press which said the victim, a Tokyo Electric Power employee, was leading a double life as a businesswoman by day and a prostitute at night.
Prosecutors had maintained the victim engaged in sexual relations with an unknown number of men while Mainali had the apartment key.
Mainali was acquitted of murder by the Tokyo District Court in April 2000, but remained in prison pending an appeal by prosecutors.
In December of the same year, the High Court overturned the district court's ruling, saying Mainali had choked the woman to death and robbed her of 40,000 yen ($500) in cash. nepalnews.com