Crime & Justice

Abe’s assassin formally charged by Japanese prosecutors

Tokyo, Jan 13 (EFE).- Prosecutors in the Japanese city of Nara on Friday formally charged the accused in the assassination of former prime minister of Shinzo Abe, also accusing him of violating the law that governs the possession of firearms, swords and other weapons.

Japanese authorities pressed charges against Tetsuya Yamagami, 42, after considering that the results of his psychological evaluation – that lasted nearly six months – do not demonstrate any mental condition that could significantly impact his capacity to judge between good and evil, state broadcaster NHK reported.

According to article 39 of Japan’s Penal Code, if it is established that the perpetrator of a crime was not in their full mental capacity, they can get a reduced sentence, while if their actions are found to be products of insanity or a mental disorder, they are non-punishable.

Therefore, the psychological evaluation is expected to be a crucial piece of the trial.

The Nara prosecutors’ team working on the case believes that Yamagami can be held criminally responsible, as he had manufactured both the weapon and gunpowder used in shooting Abe and had been studying the leader’s campaign schedule.

Yamagami was arrested on July 8, 2022, after shooting Abe to death during an election campaign event in the streets of Nara city (west) with a hand-made weapon similar to a shotgun.

The former soldier and Nara resident was arrested at the crime scene. Abe, 67, was declared dead hours later due to hemorrhages caused by the impact of multiple bullets.

The police plan to continue investigations with the aim of charging Yamagami under the law against illegal manufacturing of firearms.

Yamagami allegedly committed the crime due to his resentment against the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, a controversial religious group commonly known as the Unification Church or the “Moon Sect”, as he believed Abe had ties to it.

The assailant had told the investigators that the significant donations his mother made to the group years ago had led to her bankruptcy and broken his family. EFE


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