Appeal trial over 2017 murder of Vietnamese girl in Japan opens hinh anh 1Le Anh Hao, Linh's father, holds a picture of the girl on his way to the trial held for Yasumasa Shibuya (Photo: VNA)

Tokyo (VNA) -
The Tokyo High Court on September 26 began hearing an appeal against a lower court ruling that sentenced a Japanese man to life in prison over the murder of a Vietnamese girl in 2017.

Le Thi Nhat Linh, a third grader at Mutsumi Daini Elementary School in Matsudo, Chiba prefecture, went missing on March 24, 2017, and was found dead near a drainage ditch in the city of Abiko two days later. Yasumasa Shibuya, a 48-year-old former head of a parents group at the girl’s school, was arrested on April 14 on suspicion of dumping Linh’s body.

The Chiba District Court convicted Shibuya on grounds that DNA matching his was found on the nine-year-old girl’s body and DNA in blood found in his vehicle matched the girl’s. On July 6, 2018, the man was sentenced to life imprisonment. 

However, prosecutors appealed the ruling, as Le Anh Hao, the girl’s father refuted the verdict. They said the Japanese took advantage of his position to deceive and murder Linh rather than protecting her as he was supposed to. According to them, the ruling did not match his ruthless action.

Shibuya continues to profess his innocence.

The next hearings are scheduled for November 29 and January 31, 2020./.