A court sentenced a 43-year-old man to life imprisonment Tuesday for murdering two Japanese men for insurance money in the Philippines in 2014 and 2015, as prosecutors demanded.
At his lay judge trial at the Kofu District Court in Yamanashi Prefecture, west of Tokyo, Shoichi Kubota was convicted of killing Shinsuke Toba, 32, and Tatsuya Nakamura, 42, in Manila with the help of a local gunman.
In handing down the ruling, Presiding Judge Tetsumi Maruyama said Kubota “played an indispensable role in taking the victims out to spots where they were shot dead,” adding it was cruel to carry out the murders for insurance money in both cases.
Meanwhile, the judge acknowledged the defense team’s claim that the defendant did not take the lead in the killings, saying, “(I) hesitate to choose the death penalty.” The victims’ families had sought capital punishment.
According to the ruling, Kubota conspired with some others including 43-year-old Toshihiko Iwama, who has also been indicted on murder charges, to employ the Filipino perpetrator to murder Toba, who ran an osteopathic clinic in Yamanashi Prefecture, on Oct. 18, 2014, and Nakamura, an acquaintance of Toba also from Yamanashi, sometime between Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, 2015.
The insurance money was never paid in the two cases.
Source: News and Culture Image: Bank Image