Japan indicts suspected killer of former premier Abe
Jan. 13, 2023 Updated Sat., Jan. 14, 2023 at 6:25 p.m.
Japanese prosecutors indicted a man in his 40s on charges of fatally shooting former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last year in a crime that horrified the country and triggered a scandal over the ruling party’s links with a fringe religion.
Tetsuya Yamagami was indicted after he was held for months of psychological evaluation and found fit to stand trial, media reported Friday. The suspected gunman was arrested on the scene for allegedly shooting Abe with a homemade firearm as the former premier was campaigning for his Liberal Democratic Party in July in the western city of Nara.
The suspect told police he targeted Abe, the country’s longest-serving premier, because of his ties with the South Korean-based group formerly known as the Unification Church. The suspect blamed the group for ruining his family by taking excessive donations from his mother.
Video taken at the time of the killing showed the suspect approaching Abe from behind as he spoke at an outdoor campaign event and shooting him from about 10 feet away.
Public broadcaster NHK reported last month the suspect had been found capable of taking responsibility for his actions and was set to be indicted by district prosecutors. The prosecutors’ office declined to discuss details of the legal proceedings.
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