Trial of Chilean ex-boyfriend of missing Japanese begins in France

BESANCON, France (Jiji Press) — The murder trial of a Chilean former boyfriend of a Japanese woman who went missing while studying in Besancon in December 2016 began at a court in the eastern France city on Tuesday.

The court is expected to hand down a ruling on April 12.

French prosecutors suspect that the Chilean man, Nicolas Zepeda Contreras, 31, killed the Japanese woman, Narumi Kurosaki, due to trouble in their relationship.

During the investigation, Zepeda consistently denied the charges against him.

Kurosaki, who was a student of the University of Tsukuba in the eastern Japan prefecture of Ibaraki, went missing after having dinner with Zepeda, as shown by security camera footage.

Zepeda returned to Chile immediately afterwards. But he was transferred to France in July 2020 and indicted in February 2021.

French investigators have found several witnesses who said that they heard screams at Kurosaki’s dormitory in the evening of the day when she disappeared.

In 2018, local authorities ended the search for Kurosaki after struggling to find clues.