Police Ordered To Protect Judges And Witnesses Following Yakuza Boss’s Court Death Threat
Police have been ordered to protect judges and witnesses involved in the trial of the Japanese yakuza boss, following a chilling warning he made upon being sentenced.
On Tuesday, 74-year-old Satoru Nomura was found guilty of ordering four assaults by Fukuoka District Court, one which later turned out to be fatal.
He subsequently received what is believed to be the first death sentence in Japan. After he received his sentence, Nomura proceeded to threaten the rest of the court.
Yesterday, August 25, Fukuoka Prefectural Police were subsequently ordered to protect the judges and witnesses who took part in the court case.
It is reported that upon receiving the sentence, the Kudo-kai head of the yakuza warned the courtroom, ‘You will regret this for the rest of your life’.
Nomura denied any responsibility for the four assaults, one of which resulted in a fatality. According to Japan Today, the assaults took place between 1998 and 2014, and included the fatal shooting of the former head of a fishing cooperative.
Nomura was also accused by prosecutors of being responsible for: ordering an attack in 2014 on a relative of the murder victim; a knife attack on a nurse in 2013, who had worked at a clinic he had been receiving treatment; and the shooting of a police officer in 2012. The officer survived, however he suffered serious injuries to both his waist and legs, media reported.
However, prosecutors did not have any proof of Nomura’s direct involvement, according to The Times.
The order for police to protect the judges and witnesses follows an article from The Mainichi that reported a member of the yakuza gang had been arrested and indicted for allegedly intimidating a male witness, who was connected to the public hearings of Nomura’s case. The intimidation reportedly took place when the pair met and when they spoke over the phone, which violates Japan’s organised crime law.
The gang’s movement has subsequently been kept a close eye on by the prefectural police headquarters. It is reported that around 100 officers at its organised crime division protective measures office have been active in the response to Nomura’s threat.
In order to ensure the safety of those under protection in and outside of Fukuoka Prefecture, the police headquarters have also reassured that they will share information with other police departments if needed.
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