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Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Japanese Suicide Website Murderer Sentenced to Death

A Japanese court on Wednesday sentenced to death a man who killed three people after making suicide pacts with them on the Internet.

The Osaka District Court sentenced Hiroshi Maeue, 38, to the gallows for suffocating to death the three and filming the killings.

The unemployed Maeue, who pleaded guilty, bowed deeply to the judge when he asked him to pray for the souls of his victims, according to Jiji Press.

The court said that Maeue got to know the victims through Japan's widely publicised phenomenon of suicide websites.

In one case, he met a 25-year-old woman online and proposed that they kill themselves together. But when they entered the car for the suicide in February 2005, he bound her with ropes and choked her to death, the court said.

The accused was also convicted of killing a 21-year-old college student and a 14-year-old junior high school student in similar plots. He demanded a ransom for the high school student's return after killing him.

A court-ordered examination found that Maeue did not have any mental disorder and that he was mentally competent.

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