TV com­pany wrong to broad­cast in­ter­view that may in­flu­ence trial

China Daily - - COMMENT -

A CHI­NESE MOTHER whose daugh­ter, a post­grad­u­ate stu­dent, died over a year ago in Tokyo af­ter al­legedly be­ing at­tacked by a Chi­nese grad­u­ate stu­dent whose for­mer girl­friend she was try­ing to de­fend, is seek­ing the death penalty in his trial. The ver­dict is due to be de­liv­ered by a Ja­panese court on Dec 11. South­ern Me­trop­o­lis Daily com­mented on Tues­day:

Jiang Ge, a 24-year-old Chi­nese stu­dent, was found dead with mul­ti­ple stab wounds in the cor­ri­dor of her Tokyo apart­ment more than a year ago, hav­ing re­port­edly fallen vic­tim to a quar­rel be­tween her room­mate and her room­mate’s ex-boyfriend. She was com­plet­ing her post­grad­u­ate stud­ies.

The room­mate sur­vived, yet re­fused to meet Jiang’s mother face-to-face, ac­cord­ing to re­ports. She even changed her phone num­ber and her fam­ily moved home to avoid pub­lic at­ten­tion, ac­cord­ing to Jiang’s griev­ing mother, who posted on­line and off­line no­tices to trace their where­abouts.

The first en­counter be­tween Jiang’s mother and the woman whose for­mer part­ner has been ac­cused of mur­der­ing Jiang oc­curred re­cently when a vet­eran tele­vi­sion pro­ducer man­aged to en­tice both of them in front of cam­eras.

How­ever, the rel­a­tives of vic­tims are not sup­posed to meet with key wit­nesses prior to a court hand­ing down its ver­dict. Whether the tele­vised meet­ing will evoke a pub­lic out­cry against one of the par­ties in the case, par­tic­u­larly the sus­pect, re­mains un­clear. But the risk of it in­flu­enc­ing the court’s de­ci­sion can­not be ruled out, not least when many have al­ready drawn their own con­clu­sion de­spite the lack of clearcut ev­i­dence in the case. That peo­ple are al­ready point­ing fin­gers be­fore the court’s ver­dict is there­fore un­called for.

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