Japanese Crime Syndicate Leader Sentenced to Death

A court in western Japan sentenced the leader of an organized crime syndicate to death on Aug. 24 for his involvement in four violent incidents, in which one died and others were injured.

The Fukuoka District Court handed down the death penalty to Nomura Satoru, the 74-year-old head of the notorious Kudo-kai gang based in Kita-Kyushu in the Fukuoka Prefecture.

The court found Nomura guilty of ordering the 1998 killing of a former leader of a local fishery cooperative, the 2012 shooting of a former police officer, the 2013 stabbing of a female nurse, and the 2014 stabbing of the relative of the former fishery cooperative leader.

Although prosecutors had no direct evidence that Nomura ordered the attacks, they successfully argued that his absolute status over the syndicate meant that he was ultimately responsible.

Presiding Judge Adachi Ben ruled that the attacks would not have been carried out without Nomura’s orders.

Nomura denied any involvement in the four incidents and seemingly threatened the judge after the ruling, according to Asahi Shimbun.

“I asked you for a fair judgment. But this is not fair at all. You will regret this for the rest of your life,” Nomura told Adachi, as quoted by the Japanese newspaper.

Nomura’s death sentence is believed to be the first handed down to a head of Japan’s mafia, the yakuza.

Nomura’s second-in-command Fumio Tanoue received a prison sentence for life for the same charges.

Those who carried out the crimes had already been convicted, according to Asahi Shimbun.

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