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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 April 2007, 03:36 GMT 04:36 UK
Father in Japan for Lucie verdict
Lucie Blackman
Lucie Blackman's body was found in a cave outside Tokyo in 2001
The father of British hostess Lucie Blackman is flying to Japan to hear the judges' verdict on her alleged killer.

Tim Blackman, 53, said he was apprehensive but relieved that the four and a half year trial was set to come to an end.

Businessman Joji Obara denies abducting, raping and killing 21-year-old Miss Blackman.

Ms Blackman's body was found in a remote fishing village near Tokyo in 2001, seven months after she vanished.

I'm apprehensive about it because there is an awful lot of circumstantial evidence and he has denied all of the allegations.
Tim Blackman, Lucie's father

Mr Blackman said he did not know what the judges at Toyko District Court would decide when they announced their verdict on Monday or Tuesday.

But he was relieved that the conclusion of the trial would bring to an end seven years of "parallel life".

Speaking before he flew to Toyko with his daughter Sophie, 26, Mr Blackman said: "I do not really know what to expect.

"It's a complicated situation and a complicated trial. I'm apprehensive about it because there is an awful lot of circumstantial evidence and he has denied all of the allegations."

Miss Blackman's mother, Jane Steare, 52, is not expected to attend the hearing, Mr Blackman said.

Miss Blackman, a former flight attendant from Sevenoaks in Kent, was working as a hostess in a nightclub in the Roppongi bar district of Tokyo when she vanished in July 2000.

The prosecution says Mr Obara raped Miss Blackman.

Following her death, it is alleged he chopped up her body and encased her head in concrete at his luxury apartment.

In February 2001, decomposed remains were discovered in a cave close to Mr Obara's four-storey block in Miura, a remote and secluded fishing village outside Tokyo.

Mr Obara was questioned about Miss Blackman's death while already in custody suspected of raping eight other women and killing another hostess.

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