MANILA, Philippines - The Japanese man suspected of killing a Filipina worker and chopping her body parts in Japan may face up to 30 years in prison for the crime of murder.
Hiroshi Nozaki, 48, has been formally charged by Japanese prosecutors on Wednesday for the death of Honiefaith Ratilla Kamiosawa, 22, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
In a text message to GMANews.TV on Thursday, DFA spokesperson Claro Cristobal said Nozaki may get a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison if convicted for the crime.
On April 6, Nozaki was arrested by Japanese police at the Kawaguchi, Saitama Prefecture when he was about to commit suicide by slashing his wrists.
According to reports, Nozaki was a roommate of Kamiosawa, who worked as a nightclub hostess in Roppongi, a Japanese district known for its nightclubs and bars. They shared an apartment with the victim’s two cousins.
Japanese police are trying to determine whether Nozaki killed Kamiosawa over rent disputes.
Nozaki and Kamiosawa were acquainted sometime last year, when the Japanese visited the Filipina in a nightclub in Tokyo's Taito-ku district.
When Kamiosawa moved to another nightclub in Roppongi last December, she agreed to live with Nozaki by sharing the rent for the apartment.
The victim, her two cousins and Nozaki agreed to equally share more than 200,000 yen in monthly rent. However, Nozaki recently began to refuse to contribute his share, triggering a dispute between him and Kamiosawa, according to the sources.
Online site Japan Probe said that prior to her disappearance, witnesses overheard Nozaki saying he would kill Kamiosawa after an argument ensued between them.
Nozaki went missing after one of the cousins returned home and encountered him carrying a body part, the police said. The woman then reported the incident to the police.
In an apparent attempt to hide the crime, the Japanese suspect, Hiroshi Nozaki, allegedly washed Kamiosawa’s body parts in a laundry machine before stashing it in a suitcase.
Television network Asahi reported that the 48-year-old suspect “elaborately" washed the body parts of the 22-year-old Filipina to make it difficult to trace the victim’s cause of death.
The report also claimed that blood was found in Kamiosawa’s mutilated body parts while blood was also detected in the washing machine.
Kamiosawa's chopped head was finally discovered on April 11 in a canal near the victim’s apartment.
Earlier reports said that Nozaki was arrested in 2000 and later sentenced to three years and six months for mutilating and abandoning the body of another Filipina.
Quoting the Sports Nippon tabloid, wire reports said that Nozaki killed the first Filipina in 1999. He then burned and flushed the body parts of the 27-year-old Filipina victim in a toilet.
Police believed Kamiosawa could have been killed in the 26th- floor unit of the high-rise condominium in the Odaiba waterfront district between 5:30 pm and 8:45 pm on April 3.
The Tokyo District Court charged Nozaki for murder on Wednesday with the first court hearing expected in July.
"First court hearing on the case is expected within two months and trial is to take at least a year," Cristobal said. - Mark Joseph Ubalde, GMANews.TV