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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 July 2005, 12:49 GMT 13:49 UK
Japanese court hears Lucie diary
Lucie Blackman
Lucie Blackman's body was found seven months after her death
A Japanese businessman accused of raping and killing British bar hostess Lucie Blackman has taken the stand for the first time at his trial in Tokyo.

Joji Obara claimed the 21-year-old admitted in her diary to using marijuana, being lonely and in debt.

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

Lucie's father, Tim Blackman, said Obara was lying about his daughter.

Mr Blackman, a businessman from the Isle of Wight who attended the hearing, said: "He was trying to paint a picture that she was mentally unstable and was embarking on binge-drinking and stuff like that, which obviously, as we know Lucie very well, was not the case."

"One of the areas that we're looking at at the moment, which he was talking about, is that he has been looking at Lucie's personal diaries and interpreting what she is writing in there.

Blackman also denied that his daughter used drugs.
Tim Blackman
Mr Blackman began the desperate search to find his daughter in Japan

He added that it had been deeply upsetting hearing details of Lucie's personal diary read out in court.

In court on Wednesday, Mr Obara painted a picture of Ms Blackman as a young woman who was out of control, an allegation her father insisted was untrue.

Mr Obara, a property developer, also claimed he was innocent and said: "The autopsy could not find the cause of her death and they could not find my DNA from the body, but they said I caused her death."

Despite being "extremely jetlagged" Mr Blackman said it was very important to be in Japan even if the trial was hard to follow at times.

"We didn't understand it immediately, although we were receiving a translation.

"For us it's just really really important that we're following Lucie's case and seeing it progress," Mr Blackman added.

Body in cave

Ms Blackman 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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22 Jul 05 |  Hampshire
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04 Jul 01 |  Asia-Pacific
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06 Apr 01 |  Asia-Pacific

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