Nicola Furlong: Suspects being held by Tokyo police linked to hip-hop star AI
BOTH suspects in the death of Wexford student Nicola Furlong had connections with the Japanese pop star AI ( Ai Carina Uemura) and appeared on stage with her just days before their arrests, it was reported today.
Dancer James Blackston from South Central Los Angeles and an unnamed 19-year-old musician, who was found with Nicola’s body in a 5-star Tokyo hotel, are being held on charges of indecently assaulting Nicola’s friend.
The DCU student was on a year’s exchange programme when she was murdered after a Nicki Minaj concert twelve days ago.
She was found strangled in a Tokyo hotel room.
The Japan Times reports today that Blackston danced on stage with the Japanese hip-hop star AI who was born in LA, but raised both there and in Kagoshima, Japan.
AI has performed with top US acts including Snoop Doggy Dog, Chaka Khan and the Jacksons and her hit single ‘Story’ has logged 3.5m downloads.
It is understood that Blackston (23) who goes by the stage name King Tight or KT, was touring Japan as part of AI’s Independent Tour 2012.
He performed with her at the Koriyama Fukushima Prefecture the day before he allegedly met Nicola (21) and her friend who had travelled from their university at Takasaki , about 100km from Tokyo.
And he gave a special King Tight workshop for children at a dance school at Sendai where he taught the moves to AI’s songs.
Neither Blackston or the other man detained by Japanese police, have been charged with the rape or murder of Nicola Furlong.
Under Japanese law the suspects can be held for up to 23 days before formal charges are laid but the prosecutor can then apply for another 10 day extension. Japan has a conviction rate of 99.8pc and employs an intense interrogation system.
Nicola, who was buried at her native Curracloe, Co Wexford, on Sunday was studying business and languages at DCU before going to Japan as part of an exchange programme. She was due home next month.
It is alleged that she and her friend were plied with alcohol or may have had their drinks spiked after the concert. A toxicology report is due this week.