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Japan: Nepali man risks death sentence after police ill-treatment

, Index number: ASA 22/005/1997

Govinda Prasad Mainali, a Nepali immigrant worker in Japan, was beaten, interrogated for long periods and denied access to his lawyer after his arrest in March 1997. He was later charged with murder and his trial is due to start in late August. There are reports that several key witnesses in this case were beaten and intimidated into making false confessions. There is concern that the many illegalities during the police investigation may jeopardise the fairness of Govinda Prased Mainali's trial and that he may be sentenced to death. He was arrested on 22 March 1997 because his visa had expired and despite the fact that it is illegal in Japan for police to investigate a suspect for crimes unrelated to the original charge, he was also questioned about the murder of a Japanese woman in March 1997.

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