Calgary Sun

Thursday, August 9, 2001

Mom of dead boy to plead guilty

Fujii expected to admit abandoning baby's body

By KEVIN MARTIN, CALGARY SUN

Rie Fujii, the Japanese woman charged with abandoning her dead son's body in her downtown apartment, will plead guilty next week, court heard yesterday.

Defence counsel Balfour Der pearing on behalf of his partner, Bob Batting -- said Fujii is expected to admit to improperly disposing of the child's corpse.

"I have instructions from my colleague, Mr. Batting, to have the matter adjourned to Aug. 15," Der told provincial court Judge Bob Davie.

"It's the intention of Mr. Batting to enter a guilty plea (on behalf of his client) at that time."

The body of Fujii's son, Domenic Brown, 15 months, was found in a Victoria Park apartment June 5. A second child, Domenic's three-month-old sister, Gemini, is missing and presumed dead. Police believe her body may have been dumped into the Bow River.

Homicide Staff Sgt. George Rocks said detectives are continuing to investigate the children's deaths, but no additional charges are currently pending. Rocks said Fujii's decision to plead guilty to the charge she currently faces won't impact the ongoing inquiry.

Fujii, a student who was in Canada illegally when she was arrested, faces possible deportation once her criminal charge is dealt with. Rocks acknowledged it's possible Fujii's punishment might not involve any further jail time, leaving her free to voluntarily return to Japan.

"If there are no other charges laid and she has served her time in custody then she's free," he said.

Rocks said if no evidence is uncovered pointing to any other criminal offence, police have no recourse but to allow her to go.

"We would never try to conjure up something (to keep her in custody)."

Rocks said he hasn't inquired into whether Fujii could be extradited from her homeland if charges were laid after she returned to Japan.

"I haven't checked into that because (her leaving) hasn't happened yet -- we are still conducting our investigation and she hasn't left the country."

Fujii has been in custody for more than two months undergoing psychiatric evaluations.

Der said a report filed with court yesterday concluded she is fit to stand trial.

Her parents, who have travelled to Canada twice since her arrest to offer support, were not present in court, but are expected back next week, Der said.

Copyright © 2001, Canoe Limited Partnership.