(LibertySociety.com) – In July 2022, Japan’s former Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, was assassinated in the middle of a campaign speech in Nara, Japan. He was shot in the neck and chest, and collapsed on stage. According to the New York Post, the media reported that the politician appeared to be experiencing cardiac arrest. Abe lost too much blood from his wounds and passed away. Authorities arrested a suspect right away, but there were no formal charges — until now.
On January 13, Japanese prosecutors charged Tetsuya Yamagami with the murder of Abe, as they decided he was mentally fit enough to stand trial. Since his arrest, the suspect had been kept in a detention center so professionals could assess his mental state. Now that they’ve determined his psychological status, he’s ready to face charges for his alleged crimes.
Suspect charged with murder in assassination of Japan's Shinzo Abe https://t.co/yHInqAHE5O pic.twitter.com/LNl8xoP7ae
— New York Post (@nypost) January 13, 2023
The Associated Press reported the defendant allegedly used a homemade gun to carry out the crime. Yamagami reportedly told police he shot the former PM because he was harboring resentment against the Unification Church, stating the religious group ruined his family’s lives. His mother had donated a lot of money to the group and bankrupted the family. He believed Abe was tied to Unification Church, which made him vengeful toward the politician.
The 42-year-old is also facing a charge for illegally making and using a firearm. Yamagami’s trial will involve a jury and one of his lawyers, Masaaki Furukawa, told The Associated Press that his legal team would be doing everything they could to have his sentence reduced. There’s reportedly a petition going around with many signatures calling for leniency.
The trial should start in a few months, Furukwara added. According to The Wall Street Journal, Yamagami’s legal team said they would do a “solid job” for their client, but otherwise declined to comment on their plans.
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