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Gov't ordered to pay 66.8 mil. yen in Univ. of Tokyo poisoning.

TOKYO, April 15 Kyodo

The Tokyo District Court on Monday ordered the government to pay about 66.8 million yen in compensation to the family of a University of Tokyo employee who was fatally poisoned in 1990.

Ryoichi Nakamura, a technical official at the state-run university's Faculty of Medicine, drank poisoned tea prepared by a colleague at the Animal Center for Biomedical Research in mid-December 1990 and died in February 1991 at age 38, according to the ruling.

Masahiro Ito killed Nakamura by putting about 10 times the lethal dose of thallium acetate in the tea, and was sentenced to 11 years in prison for the crime in December 1995.

Presiding Judge Manabu Yamana said Nakamura's death could have been prevented if his superior had paid more attention to bad blood between Nakamura and Ito.

In April 1990, about eight months before the incident, Nakamura found white powder containing thallium crystals in a container where he kept coffee beans and told his superior Ito could have put it there.

The judge suggested his superior failed to look into the incident and the killing could have been prevented if he had taken proper measures.

The family had demanded the government pay about 100 million yen in compensation.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Apr 22, 2002
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