KATHMANDU, June 9: Govinda Prasad Mainali, who has been granted a retrial by the Tokyo High Court after he spent 15 years in a Japanese jail, has sought a special visa so that he can visit home.
If his request for special visa is granted, Mainali can return to Japan any time even after being deported to Nepal, according to advocate Balram Shrestha, who practices law in Japan.
"If one is deported without a special visa, he or she is not allowed to enter Japan for at least five years," advocate Shrestha told Republica over phone on Friday. "As his case is unique, Mainali may not be barred from entering Japan in future."
The Japanese lawyers of Mainaili--who is now at an immigration facility in Yokohama--pleaded with the immigration officials on Friday for a special visa on behalf of the 45 years old.
"The immigration officials have informed us that they will take a formal decision on Mainali´s appeal early next week," said Shrestha.
Mainali, who was serving a life imprisonment in Japanese jail on the charge of murdering Yasuko Watanabe, a 39-year-old female employee of Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPC0), in 1997, was granted a retrial on Thursday after new evidences surfaced.
Even after the retrial order, Mainali was sent to the immigration facility in view of the charge, even before he was implicated for Watanabe´s murder, of overstaying his visa.
Last year, when DNA tests were conducted, a semen sample collected from Watanabe´s body did not match that of Mainali. Instead, it matched a body hair sample found in the room where Watanabe´s dead body was found, suggesting the presence of another man at the time of the murder, which finally led to the retrial.
"Truth has triumphed"
Mainali´s wife Radhika and daughters Mithila and Alisha--who are now in Japan--spent a few delightful moments with him on Friday.
It was Radhika´s eleventh meeting with Mainali in the last 15 years. As during all past meetings, Radhika saw Mainali only through a small hole.
"Truth has finally triumphed," Mainali told Radhika. "I am excited to go back to Nepal and meet all my family members after 18 years." Mainali was arrested three years after he arrived in Japan.
Radhika gave Mainali a black coat, a white shirt and a tie sent by his sister from Australia. She also gave him a pair of black shoes provided by the Japanese well-wishers.
Rajan Pradhananga, representative of Govinda Mainali Support Committee, says, "If everything goes well, Mainali he will be in Nepal within the next two weeks."
Pradhan, who spoke to Republica over phone from Japan, said, "He will be in a position to claim compensation only after being fully acquitted by the court."