Indictment draws near for Abe assassination suspect

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Six months after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot and killed in broad daylight, an indictment looms for the man suspected of being behind the attack.

On July 8, Tetsuya Yamagami allegedly approached Abe from behind during a stump speech in the city of Nara and shot him with a handmade gun. Yamagami, who was arrested on the spot, has reportedly admitted to the shooting, telling investigators that he had held a grudge against Abe over his links to the Unification Church, which is known for its mass weddings and aggressive donation collection practices.

Yamagami is currently in detention and undergoing psychiatric evaluation. Since the detention period for psychiatric evaluation is set to expire Tuesday, an indictment is expected to follow soon after that.

Here’s what you need to know about the criminal procedures for Yamagami and what will happen to him next.

Where is Yamagami now and what is his situation?

Yamagami is being held at the Osaka Detention Center, to which he was moved from a police station in Nara in late July. He is undergoing psychiatric evaluation, the results of which will be used by prosecutors to determine whether he is fit to stand trial.

Such evaluations are conducted by psychiatrists or psychology experts and are necessary for prosecutors to establish the criminal responsibility of suspects. The Penal Code stipulates that those who are determined to be “mentally incompetent” will be deemed innocent of the crimes committed.

Those who have “diminished mental capacity” can be found guilty, but their punishment would be reduced. Prosecutors weigh the results of the experts’ evaluation report to decide whether to indict the suspect, according to information provided by the National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry.

The evaluation involves interviews with the suspect and their relatives about their upbringing and circumstances leading up to the incident. It can also involve medical examinations such as an IQ test, an electroencephalogram and MRI and CT brain scans.

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1 comment

  1. The assassination of Abe really turned out to be an indictment of Japanese politicians and the influence of Rev. Moon’s Unification Church.

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