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Gangster Boss Held Liable for Youth’s Death

Date Posted: 2000-12-22

The Kyushu High Court has ruled that the boss of a gangster group is liable and must pay damages to the parents of a high school boy who was shot dead by a member of a rival gang, during a gangland war in Okinawa in 1990. The killer mistook the youth, who was 19 at the time of the shooting, as a member of the other gang and shot him while he was cleaning the windows at the gang’s office. A couple of days later the police arrested the killer, who subsequently confessed. The parents of the boy took the boss of the group who had hired the boy to clean the windows, along with the killer to the court demanding damages.

The Naha District Court ruled that the boss of the gang should share the responsibility for the death of the boy and ruled that both the killer and the gang boss must pay ¥57.5 million to the parents. The gangsters appealed and the upper court overturned the verdict on the part of the gang boss.

The parents then appealed to the High Court which finally upheld the District Court’s verdict. The High Court ruled that as the boss was aware of the war that was going on, he was in the position to stop the action. The boss was not charged criminally for the incident.

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