Wed, Jul 29, 2009 - Page 5 News List

Three men convicted of multiple murders executed in Japan

AP , TOKYO

Japan executed three convicted murderers yesterday, including a man who found his victims when they posted messages on suicide Web sites.

Executions — all carried out by hanging — are highly secretive in Japan. Inmates do not know when they will be executed, while lawyers and family are only told after the fact.

Hiroshi Maeue, 40, was hanged at a detention center in Osaka, the justice ministry said in a press release. He was convicted of crimes including three murders in 2005 involving victims who posted messages on Web sites about committing suicide.

He convinced his victims — a woman and man in their 20s and a teenage boy — that he wanted to commit suicide with them. He then bound them in his car and repeatedly strangled and revived them until they died.

Yukio Yamaji, 25, was also executed in Osaka, for sexually assaulting and stabbing to death two sisters who lived in the same apartment in 2005.

Chen Detong, 41, was given the death penalty for stabbing to death and robbing three people he lived with in 1999. He was hanged in Tokyo.

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