Okamoto Cooperating with Attorney, Says He Prefers Capital Punishment

Kozo Okamoto, the Japanese “kamikaze” gunman, promised today to cooperate fully with his Israeli defense attorney when he goes on trial for his part in the May 30 Lydda Airport massacre. Max Kritzman, the court-appointed lawyer, said he had a three hour talk with Okamoto through an interpreter from the Japanese Embassy, at which a psychiatrist was present.

He said Okamoto told him that he would prefer to be tried in Japan which has capital punishment but that otherwise the prisoner was agreeable and said he wanted nothing to stand in the way of a swift trial. According to Kritzman, Okamoto offered to give him power of attorney in order to avert possible procedural difficulties at the start of the trial. But the attorney said he preferred to act as the nominee of the court.

Okamoto will be tried by a military tribunal which, owing to its composition, cannot impose the death penalty. Preparations for the trial, to be held at a military base as yet undisclosed, are expected to take another two weeks.

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