January 31, 1997
On Dec. 25, 1996, a lawyer for the Soka Gakkai formally requested Nikken’s testimony in the “Seattle Incident” trial, according to a report in the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s newspaper.
This was the 14th court session in the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood’s libel suit against the Soka Gakkai over the latter’s coverage of the Seattle Incident in the Seikyo Press.
In his request, the Soka Gakkai’s attorney writes that “we intend to question Nikken Abe to clarify the falsehoods and contradictions in his statements, thereby establishing the news reports regarding the incident as factual.”
Since Nikken has now admits that he “went for a walk and returned to his hotel room after having a drink,” the Soka Gakkai’s attorney wants to ask him in detail about his activities that night.
Sources say that when lawyers for Nichiren Shoshu told the chief judge that there was no need for Nikken to testify, the judge asked them to present their argument formally. The next court date is set for March 17.
Witnesses whose testimonies have contradicted Nikken’s account are the late Hiroe Clow and former Seattle police officer Ronald C. Sprinkle. An affidavit of Bernard Mayhle, Mr. Sprinkle’s partner the night of March 19–20, 1963, which also contradicts Nikken’s account, has been submitted as well.
Craig Green of Los Angeles contributed to this report.