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UPDATE: Saturday, June 12, 2010      The Japan Times Weekly    2005年3月12日号 (バックナンバー)
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Pair accused of slaying 7 face gallows

Junko Ogata
Prosecutors demanded the death penalty March 2 for a couple accused of murdering seven people who lived in their apartment between February 1996 and June 1998.

Futoshi Matsunaga and Junko Ogata, both 43, stand accused of slaying six of Ogata's relatives and a 34-year-old man who was not kin.

Futoshi Matsunaga
In demanding capital punishment, prosecutors told the Kokura branch of the Fukuoka District Court that the couple's actions were brutal and they bore a great responsibility as the case "is without comparison in the criminal history of our country."

The prosecution said the defendants repeatedly assaulted and confined their victims in a bid to extract money from the adults. When either the money ran out or it was feared word about the crimes would get out, the victims were separately murdered and their bodies dismembered and disposed of. No physical evidence of the crimes was ever found.

The murders came to light in March 2002 when a teenage girl escaped from the pair's apartment, where she told police she had been confined and subjected to electric shocks.

The Japan Times Weekly: March 12, 2005
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