A Japanese court sentenced a Dominican man, who was charged with murder for assaulting and pushing a 21-year-old Vietnamese student into a river in Osaka, Japan in August last year, to 12 years in prison.
The Osaka Prefecture Court handed down the sentence to 27-year-old Cruz Cabrera Brian Alberto, a national of the Dominican Republic, at the first instance hearing of the case opened on Monday, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
Alberto, an unemployed man with no fixed place of residence, was charged after “intentionally attacking and pushing the victim, who was no longer able to resist, into a river.”
On August 2, 2021, Alberto beat and kicked the victim, T.T.A., a Vietnamese student, into the Dotonbori River in the Namba Park area in Osaka, causing the victim’s death, according to the indictment.
Three days later, Osaka police arrested Alberto and initiated criminal proceedings against him for murder.
After performing an autopsy on the recovered body of the victim, local police handed the corpse over to a Vietnamese pagoda in Kobe City to perform rituals for the deceased at the wish of his family.
After a funeral conducted at the pagoda for A. on August 12, his ashes were transported to Vietnam.
At the hearing, Alberto denied the murder conviction, arguing that he only acted out of ‘justifiable self-defense’ after being attacked by the Vietnamese student.
However, the presiding judge concluded that Alberto, after his initial self-defense, he actively attacked A. and refused to stop his assault even when the victim was no longer able to resist.
Alberto then deliberately pushed A. into the river in a state of exhaustion, directly causing the victim’s death.
Emphasizing that such brutal action exceeded the limits of self-defense, the court gave the defendant the 12-year sentence, which is six years less than the term earlier proposed by local prosecutors.
The incident caused a wave of anger both in Vietnam and in Vietnamese communities in Japan.
Many even said if the 18-year term had been given to the defendant, it would have not been enough.