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Supreme Court of Japan Voids Ruling Against Former Morning Magazine Editor Over Death of Wife

posted on by Alex Mateo
Jong Hyon Pak was indicted in January 2017 for allegedly choking wife to death

The Supreme Court of Japan decided on Monday to void a ruling that sentenced 47-year-old Jong Hyon Pak, former deputy editor of Kodansha's Morning magazine, over the death of his wife, Kanoko (38 at passing), in 2016. The Supreme Court ordered the High Court to redo the trial against Pak.

The Tokyo High Court upheld Pak's guilty verdict in 2021 after the Distrct Court had ruled Pak guilty in 2019. The court sentenced Pak to 11 years in prison, but Tokyo prosecutors had sought a 15-year prison sentence for Pak.

Pak was indicted in January 2017 for allegedly choking his wife to death and then pushing her down the stairs at their Tokyo home on August 9, 2016. Prosecutors have argued that he "suddenly developed a murderous intent after his wife complained about his lack of support in doing household chores and raising their children and spoke ill of his mother."

According to the police's Criminal Investigation Division, Pak allegedly strangled his wife to death in the early morning of that day at their Sendagi home in the Bunkyō ward of Tokyo. At around 2:45 a.m. that same morning, Park called emergency services and told them that when he arrived home, he had found his wife collapsed at the bottom of the stairs near the first floor entrance to their home. She was rushed to the hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Pak has denied the charge. In a statement that Park made after the death of his wife, he claimed that his wife had killed herself, but an autopsy allegedly found signs of strangulation on Kanako's neck. The police report said that a video from a nearby security camera had no evidence that another person had entered the area. The entire family, including the wife and four children, were home at the time of the incident.

Pak joined Kodansha in April 1999. In addition to serving as deputy editor of Morning magazine (Space Brothers, Cooking Papa), he helped found the Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine monthly manga magazine (Attack on Titan, Flying Witch).

Sources: Japan News, The Mainichi

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