Lawyers for a Japanese man known publicly as the "Twitter killer" are using the defense that his victims all consented to being killed. He has publicly disagreed with them in an interview with the press.
Takahiro Shiraishi, aged 29 years years, has been accused by Japanese authorities of nine counts of murder, as well as charges of sexual assault. Allegedly, he contacted his victims on Twitter after having read their tweets where they confessed to thinking about taking their own lives. He then contacted them, offering to "help" them with the act.
According to CTV News, Shiraishi then killed his victims, dismembered them, and stored body parts in coolers. Police arriving at his home on October 31 of 2017 were in shock when they found the chopped-up bodies stored in various boxes, sprinkled with cat litter. They collected over 240 pieces of evidence, mostly bone parts.
Shiraishi's lawyers are trying to plead for reduced sentencing due to the fact that his victims were suicidal, and claiming that this equals a form of de facto consent. Shiraishi, however, publicly disagrees with his legal team, and said so on Wednesday in an interview with Mainichi Shimbun, a local media outlet.
"There were bruises on the back of the victims' heads. It means there was no consent and I did it so that they wouldn't resist," said Shiraishi. He went on to say that the charges "were all correct" and that he had, in fact, "killed without consent".
Wednesday's hearing saw a packed house of over 600 people watch the proceedings of this sensational case.
Violent incidents of this or any sort in Japan are rare, but tend to be very scandalous when they do happen.
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