Evidence presented in attempted captain-burning
March 17, 2003
TOKYO — Kimiko Kishiguchi, the woman charged in attempting to set an Air Force captain afire, was in the Hachioji branch of Tokyo District Court on Friday to hear the prosecution present its evidence.
If convicted, Kishiguchi, 27 — accused of threatening Capt. Samuel A. Pupich on June 25 outside Fussa train station — would face up to two years in jail or a fine of less than $2,500.
A men’s club hostess, Kishiguchi is accused of dousing Pupich with a gasoline-kerosene mixture and trying to ignite it with two lighters while he sat in his car. Pupich drove away unharmed.
On Friday, the prosecution presented photographs, including one showing a fuel container and bucket left in the Fussa station restroom. A prosecutor suggested stress as a possible motive, adding that Kishiguchi was heavily influenced by her friend, Nanae In, who often boasted about her relationship with the captain.
Although she entered no plea in court on Friday, Kishiguchi said she poured the flammable liquid on the captain and tried to ignite him, but claimed she was directed by In, a 33-year-old unemployed South Korean. Police questioned In, but so far, no charges have been filed against her. They said their investigation continues.
Kishiguchi’s mother, Miyae, told Stars and Stripes that her daughter and In, both from Osaka, came to Tokyo in December 2001.
“It’s very lucky that the arson failed,” the mother said.
Kishiguchi is due back in court on April 8, when her defense lawyer, Mizuyo Nakagawa, is scheduled to make an opening argument.