US sailor held in Japan on murder charge

April 3rd, 2008 - 5:43 pm ICT by admin  

Tokyo, April 3 (Xinhua) Japanese police arrested a US Navy personnel Thursday for allegedly robbing and murdering a Japanese taxi driver last month in southeastern port city of Yokosuka, media reports said. The arrest came after the US side agreed to hand over to Japan 22-year-old Olatunbosun Ugbogu, a crewmember of the US 7th Fleet’s cruiser Cowpens, based at Yokosuka in Kanagawa prefecture.

The agreement was reached during a meeting of the Japan-US joint consultation committee on matters related to US bases in Japan.

Thomas Schieffer, US Ambassador to Japan and Rear Admiral James Kelly, the US Naval Forces commander in Japan, during their meeting with Yokosuka mayor Ryoichi Kabaya, conveyed their deep regret and sorrow and offered an apology over the incident.

A taxi driver was found dead inside his parked vehicle on a road in Yokosuka March 19. He had stab wounds in the neck.

A credit card was found inside the cab and Ugbogu, who had been reported missing since March 8, was identified as its owner.

The US seaman surrendered himself to the base authorities March 22 and has been kept in custody by the US Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) since.

Wednesday, Ugbogu admitted to the killing of the taxi driver during interrogation by the police.

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