Crime & Justice

Hearing suspended in Abe’s assassination case over suspicious package

Tokyo, Jun 12 (EFE) .- A Japanese court on Monday halted a pre-trial hearing in the case against the suspected murderer of former prime minister Shinzo Abe, after receiving a suspicious package.

The Nara District Court in western Japan was scheduled to kick off proceedings in the trial against Tetsuya Yamagami, who was also set to make an appearance in the afternoon sessions.

However, the hearing was suspended and the court evacuated of all its staff and visitors after security personnel detected the potentially dangerous package.

Wrapped in adhesive tape, a 33 cms-long, 28 cms-wide and 26 cms-high cardboard box that possibly contained metal pieces prompted officials to summon a bomb defusing squad to inspect the unclaimed package, according to local police.

Yamagami, 42, who previously served in Japan’s Maritime self-defense force, is facing charges of murder and violating gun control laws.

He was arrested on Jul. 8, 2022 at the scene after allegedly shooting the former Japanese prime minister with a homemade gun during an outdoor electoral gathering in Nara Prefecture of Japan.

Hours after the shooting, Abe succumbed to his injuries in hospital at the age of 67.

Abe was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister for terms between 2006 and 2007, and 2012 -2020.

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,” and Abe’s 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.

The assassination led to a comprehensive investigation into the sect, its finances and its deep ties to the Japanese political sphere that also triggered the ouster of several officials of the ruling party. EFE


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