Family travels to hotel death trial
Published 27/02/2013 | 17:36
The heartbroken family of a murdered Irish exchange student is making a tense trip to Japan for the trial of the man accused of the killing.
Nicola Furlong, 21, was found strangled in an upmarket hotel in central Tokyo last May after a night out with a friend attending a concert.
The death sent shockwaves through her home village of Curracloe, in Co Wexford, and further afield.
Richard Hinds, a 19-year-old musician from Memphis, Tennessee in the US, has admitted strangling Ms Furlong but denies killing her intentionally.
He remains in custody in Tokyo and his trial begins on Monday.
Ms Furlong's parents Andrew and Angie and her sister Andrea are all making the journey to Japan for the case which is expected to last for more than a week.
Pat Furlong, the dead woman's uncle, said the three - who are being accompanied by some friends - do not know what to expect.
"Their mood is very poor," he said.
"This is taking a lot out of them. They don't know what to expect. They just want to see some justice done."
Mr Furlong said his brother's family would stay in Tokyo for three weeks, to await the outcome of the trial which is expected later in the month.