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Five Pana Wave members held over man’s death

Kyodo, Japan
Dec. 6, 2003 • Saturday December 6, 2003

FUKUI (Kyodo) Five members of Pana Wave Laboratory, a sect whose members dress in white, were arrested Friday in connection with the August death of a man at their compound in the city of Fukui, police said.

Suspected of beating 40-year-old Satoshi Chigusa on the premises are Manabu Fujimori, 42; Tateki Uchida, 59; Masahiro Suzuki, 51; Akira Mizukami, 50; and Hitoshi Komuro, 53.

Chigusa, who belonged to the group, was an assistant professor at Fukuoka University of Education.

The five, who all live at the Pana Wave compound, repeatedly struck Chigusa on the back and buttocks with bamboo swords and rods made of cardboard on Aug. 7, police alleged. They added that they would further investigate to see whether the injuries they inflicted were directly linked to the man’s death.

According to an autopsy, Chigusa died as a result of traumatic shock compounded by heatstroke. Fukui Prefectural Police searched the group’s headquarters in connection with the death later that same month.

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