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Teens at Naha Family Court hearing deny intent to kill

Date Posted: 2003-08-15

The 16 and 14-year-old boys suspected of killing 13-year-old Tsutomu Zakimi and then burying his body in a cemetery in Chatan at the end of June admitted at the Naha Family Court, Monday, to participating in the beating but denied any intent to kill him. The two boys made their admissions during separate hearings. Determining whether there was intent to kill is likely to be the main focus of the hearings.

The court also held a hearing for a 14-year-old girl who was taken into custody on charges of helping the boys abandon Zakimi's body. The girl has denied participating in the beating, claiming she just watched.

Another 13-year-old boy was earlier found "consciously negligent" as he had taken part in the beating, and then helped abandon Zakimiís body. The court decided that the boy had understood that the victim would die if the beating continued. However, the Japanese Juvenile Law exempts him from being held criminally responsible for his actions because he is under 14 years of age.

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