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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 July, 2005, 00:08 GMT 01:08 UK
Lucie's father in court for trial
Lucie Blackman
Lucie Blackman's body was found seven months after her death
A Japanese businessman accused of raping and killing Kent bar hostess Lucie Blackman is to give evidence at his trial in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Joji Obara will take the stand watched by the 21-year-old's father, Tim Blackman, from the Isle of Wight.

He flew to Japan earlier this week for the start of the defence case.

Mr Obara, 52, went on trial in November 2003 but denies the abduction, rape and manslaughter of the former flight attendant from Sevenoaks.

Body in cave

Ms Blackman, from Sevenoaks in Kent, vanished in July 2000 and her body was found seven months later.

She had been working as a bar hostess at a nightclub in the Roppongi district of Tokyo.

Her dismembered body was found in a cave in the fishing village of Miura.

The location was just 100 yards from Mr Obara's apartment.

He denies abduction, rape resulting in death and a charge of disposing of Ms Blackman's body.

Mr Blackman, 52, said he would also be in court on Friday for Mr Obara's second day of evidence in his defence this week.

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