Abe’s suspected shooter hopes for relief for Unification Church victims JIJI

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NARA – The suspect in the fatal shooting of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has voiced hope for relief for victims of the controversial religious group known as the Unification Church, his lawyers revealed on Thursday.

Tetsuya Yamagami, 42, has been indicted on murder and other charges and is currently being held at the Osaka Detention House. His lawyers spoke to reporters about his remarks in the nearby city of Nara on the day.

According to informed sources, Yamagami has told investigators that he had a grudge against the Unification Church and he targeted Abe because he was a grandson of former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, who helped the group launch in Japan, according to investigative sources. His mother donated at least ¥100 million to the religious group.

The lawyers quoted Yamagami as saying that although he is not sure about a law enacted after the shooting in Nara in July 2022 to rescue victims of religious groups, he hopes that Unification Church victims will be rescued. The lawyers said he strongly sympathizes with the victims.

The suspect was also quoted as saying that although he cannot reply to every letter sent to him, he reads every letter and appreciates warm words.

Meanwhile, the lawyers said his trial is unlikely to start this year, due to the huge amount of evidence that needs to be examined.

Content retrieved from: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2023/04/07/national/crime-legal/abe-killing-suspect-church-victims/.

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