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Man held for questioning in Asami’s murder released

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Police have released the man whom they had in custody since Thursday for questioning in connection with the murder of Japanese pannist Asami Nagakiya.

Police said the man was released pending further investigation and stressed that he was not a suspect, but merely someone from whom they wanted to get information pertaining to her murder. 

The man, police said, had to be released since he was not officially under arrest and they had no information to suggest that he was a suspect. Police also stated that keeping him any further would have been a breach of his rights, which could have resulted in litigation.

A friend of the man who was released, and who wished to remain anonymous, told the Sunday Guardian police wasted time interrogating him as he was with a group of people, three of whom gave statements to the police attesting to this, during the period police suspected Nagakiya to have been murdered.

“We are putting our ears to the ground to find out who is the killer to help the police, because this area is a safe area and it feel like it have a killer among us. She was found with all her valuables so police believe it is a crime of passion, and they must investigate him because he and she was close, but they could have put their manpower elsewhere instead of investigating him,” the friend said.

He said that from Carnival Thursday, Nagakiya stayed at Picton Court, but he was unsure of where she stayed prior to that. He added that while the 30-year-old pan lover was well known in the pan community, she kept to herself mostly and would rarely be seen with her fellow countrymen, if ever, or in the company of others.

Police said the man was picked up on Thursday after information revealed he and Nagakiya, 30, were close. The two reportedly had a falling out over which Carnival band to play in on Monday but that was resolved by Tuesday, police said.

According to police sources close to the investigation, National Operations Centre (NOC) cameras could not capture any footage at all in the area where her body was found under a tree at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, around 9.30 am on Wednesday by a homeless man. Police had been viewing CCTV footage from the area in the hope of retracing Nagakiya’s last steps.

Police said they are yet to review footage from nearby businesses of Nagakiya after she left the Silver Stars panyard Tuesday evening. Officers also confirmed that Nagakiya made it back to the panyard and informed others that she was heading to St Ann’s to visit other Japanese nationals who were staying there. Nagakiya was a trained musician by profession and arrived in Trinidad on January 8 to participate in Carnival-related events. See Page A7.


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