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U.S. soldier hit-and-run case going to prosecutors

Date Posted: 2009-12-31

Nearly two months after a 66-year-old Yomitan man was struck and killed alongside a northern Okinawa roadway, police say they’re ready to present the case against an American soldier to prosecutors.

The U.S. Army staff sergeant assigned to Torii Communication had met with police shortly after the incident on a Yomitan road November 7th, but stopped talking to officials on advice of his legal counsel after questions arose about the accuracy of translations, and the denial of permission for his defense attorney to be present during police interrogation. Police say they’ve now enough evidence on the soldier to take the case to the Naha District Prosecutor anyway.

The 27-year-old soldier has been confined to Torii Station by the base commander, U.S. Army Colonel James Woodard. Authorities say it’s probable he’ll remain in U.S. military custody until Japanese authorities hand down an indictment, as specified in the U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement.

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