France – Nicolas Z. sentenced to 28 years for the murder of Narumi


The young Chilean was on Tuesday sentenced to 28 years in prison for the murder of his former Japanese girlfriend Narumi K. in December 2016 in Besançon.

Besançon accuses Etienne Manteaux.


Chilean Nicolas Z. was on Tuesday sentenced to 28 years in prison for the assassination, in 2016 in Besançon (F), of his former Japanese girlfriend Narumi K. When the verdict from the Assize Court of Doubs and after four hours of deliberation, the 31-year-old young man, against whom was imprisoned for life, and which is also the subject of a permanent ban on the territory, remained frozen, visibly beaten down.

Facing him, Narumi’s mother watched him, her head tilted slightly to the side, the handkerchief in her hand and still holding tightly in her hands the picture of her daughter, which she had not let go since the beginning of the trial, two weeks earlier.

“Strong in emotion”

“The most important thing is that the murder has been maintained,” Sylvie Galley, lawyer for the family of Narumi K, told AFP. “This verdict seems very fair and thoughtful to me,” said Me Randall Schwerdorffer, lawyer for the French girlfriend. of the student at the time of facts, also a civil party. During the trial, “particularly emotional,” in the words of Justice President Matthieu Husson, Nicolas Z. never stopped declaring his innocence.

Alleged innocence

“I’m not the one I want, but I’m not a hitman, I’m not Narumi’s hitman,” he said again in French during his last speech Tuesday morning. “I never wanted to be in the middle of Narumi’s family pain, I never wanted to be in the middle of my own family’s pain, my own pain,” the Chilean added, shedding a few tears.

Extremely rare procedure

Long passively during the debates, the Chilean had ended up cracking and screaming, also in tears, “I did not kill Narumi! I also want to know!”, When his own lawyer, Me Jacqueline Laffont, on Thursday asked him if he was capable to “help find” the body of the young girl.

The body was not found

The defendant admitted to having spent the night between December 4 and 5, 2016, with her in the small room she occupied in a university residence in Besançon. But he assured that he knew nothing about the fate of the 21-year-old student, whom no one else has seen alive since, and whose body has never been found.

On Monday, Advocate General Etienne Manteaux tried for two hours to demonstrate “with the deepest and all conviction (…) the full and complete guilt” of Nicolas Z. With a trial judge and two investigators responsible for this case, he went to Chile in April 2019 to obtain the extradition of Nicolas Z., an extremely rare procedure.

Choked or suffocated

Nicolas and Narumi had met in 2015 while studying at the University of Japan. But the 21-year-old broke up in the fall of 2016, shortly after she arrived in Besançon, where she was learning French. Driven by unhealthy jealousy and a possessive character, Nicolas Z., the only suspect, came from Chile to join her there without telling her.

Loud crying

After spying on her, he tracked her down and spent the night between December 4th and 5th with her, where students in the living rooms heard a woman’s “shrill cries”. However, none of them called the police. In the absence of a confession, the circumstances surrounding Narumi K.’s death and what happened to her body have never been clarified.

Unanswered questions

But according to the prosecution, Nicolas Z. Narumi strangled or strangled before getting rid of his body, probably in the Doubs River, not far from Dole (Jura). He then hacked Narumi K’s accounts on social networks to send messages to his relatives and hand her over as alive, the time to return to Chile, from where he will finally be handed over in the summer of 2020.

Me Galley again lamented on Tuesday morning the “absence of confessions and answers” to the questions plaguing those close to Narumi. “The family was hoping for more, they will stay on real pain,” she said. During the trial, the long and painful testimony of Narumi K.’s mother had upset the court, urging “not to let this demon go free”. So his wish was fulfilled.


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