Tokyo ordered to pay damages for detained Nepalese man's death

The Tokyo government has been ordered to pay damages over the death of a Nepalese man in custody, but his family took issue with the amount because it factors in foreign law.

Arjun Bahadur Singh was arrested six years ago, on allegations the 39-year-old possessed another person's credit card. Officers tied Singh's hands and feet with belts and ropes at a police station. The restraints were partly removed while he was being questioned by prosecutors. He then lost consciousness and later died at a hospital.

Singh's wife had been seeking about 450,000 dollars in compensation. She cited an opinion by medical experts that the restraints caused necrosis, producing an excessive amount of potassium that killed him when it suddenly circulated throughout his body.
The Tokyo District Court ruled that restraining Singh was not illegal. But it said officials failed to bring him to the hospital quickly enough even though his hands were swollen and it was obvious that blood flow had been blocked.

The court ordered the Tokyo government to pay about 7,500 dollars in damages, an amount based on the limit stipulated in Nepalese law. The plaintiff's lawyers said she will likely appeal the ruling. They said the court's decision to reduce the amount of compensation in line with Nepalese law was irrational.

The lawyers also said the way in which Singh was tied up should be made illegal.