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China sentences former Japanese politician to life

AP  |  Beijing 

A court in southern China on Friday sentenced an elderly former Japanese politician to life in prison in a 5-year-old drug trafficking case.

Another man from the African nation of Mali was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve and a man from Guinea was also give a life sentence.

Takuma Sakuragi, 76, is a former city assemblyman from central Japan's Aichi.

He was detained in 2013 when found carrying about 3.3 kilograms (more than 6 pounds) of illegal stimulants in his luggage, according to the Guangzhou City First Intermediate Court.

Sakuragi pleaded not guilty.

He said a Nigerian acquaintance had asked him to carry the suitcase.

Chinese law exempts people over the age of 75 from the death penalty, which is often imposed for drug-related offences.

The other two sentenced were identified by their Chinese names as the Ali, a citizen of Mali, and Moxi from Guinea.

Death sentences with two-year reprieves are almost always commuted to life in prison.

Japanese media reported that the verdict in Sakuragi's case was delayed while authorities tracked down others involved in the case.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, November 08 2019. 11:10 IST
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