Court acquits Japanese ex-diplomat, jails wife

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Associated Press

Posted on February 27, 2010 at 10:33 AM

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — An Athens court has acquitted a retired Japanese diplomat of the murder of his daughter but sentenced his Greek wife to life in prison.

The four jurors and three judges on Friday unanimously found 69-year-old Maria Tanida guilty of the murder of her 35-year-old daughter Mina in September 2008. They also unanimously acquitted 79-year-old Masami Tanida.

Police found Mina's body wrapped in sheets in the couple's house on the island of Evia. Both parents claimed their daughter had committed suicide but the autopsy determined death was the result of suffocation. Investigators said a deep cut to her left wrist was made after her death and the direction of the cut was not consistent with a self-inflicted wound. The couple had been held in custody since September 2008.

Masami Tanida joined the Japanese foreign service in 1953 and had been ambassador to the Vatican in the early 1990s. He settled in Greece after his retirement in 1994.

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