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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 December 2004, 11:56 GMT
Lucie father hears court evidence
Lucie Blackman
Ms Blackman's remains were found seven months after she vanished
The father of a British woman killed while working in Tokyo has heard evidence from the man accused of killing her.

Lucie Blackman was working as a bar hostess when she vanished in 2000.

Tim Blackman flew to Tokyo on Tuesday for the trial of Joji Obara - the man charged over her death and who is also accused of other attacks on women.

Mr Obara was giving evidence about a woman he is accused of raping and who later died. Mr Blackman, of the Isle of

Wight, said his story was "hollow".

'Paints a picture'

Mr Obara went on trial in 2003 for a number of attacks on women including the abduction of Miss Blackman as well as rape resulting in her death and the disposal of her body.

He denies any involvement in her death.

Miss Blackman's dismembered body was found in a cave near Mr Obara's home in a fishing village outside Tokyo in February 2001 - seven months after she disappeared.

In court, Mr Blackman, who travelled to Japan with his 24-year-old daughter Sophie, heard Mr Obara give evidence for the first time.

Tim Blackman
Mr Blackman visited the cave where his daughter's body was found

He had already come face-to-face with the accused killer a year ago at the start of the trial.

On Thursday, Mr Obara gave evidence about Australian Carita Ridgway who also worked as a hostess in Tokyo.

The property developer is accused of drugging and raping the 21-year-old in February 1992.

She died in hospital of liver failure and Mr Obara claimed she had seafood poisoning but tests found lethal levels of chloroform.

Mr Blackman, 51, said: "They are different cases but each one is important to each other.

Lasting memorial

"If he is found guilty of one, it has an impact on the other.

"He is trying to put over the idea of what a friendly, nice chap he is and when Carita was in hospital he offered to pay.

"All of this paints a picture of Obara the friend.

"That's for the judges for decide but from where we were standing it was a hollow story."

The Blackmans also visited the cave where Miss Blackman's body was found.

Mr Blackman said the family would have a tablet made for the cave as a lasting memorial when the trial finishes.

They are due to leave Japan on Friday.




SEE ALSO
Blackman family's healing pilgrimage
28 Nov 03 |  Asia-Pacific
'I feared for Lucie' says mother
08 Oct 02 |  England
Businessman denies Blackman killing
04 Jul 01 |  Asia-Pacific
Key dates in Lucie investigation
06 Apr 01 |  Asia-Pacific

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