Japan indicts man suspected of murdering former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Japan’s prosecutor announced that a man was indicted for murdering Shinzo Abe, former Prime Minister, in a fatal shooting last year.
Abe, 67 (former leader of the Liberal Democratic Party and Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister), served in office from 2006 to 2007, and again from 2012 until 2020 before he resigned due to health reasons.
His assassination in broad daylight shocked the world and sent shock waves through Japan. World leaders offered their condolences while thousands of mourners gathered in the streets of Tokyo to pay tribute. An elaborate and controversial state funeral was held for Abe in September.
At the time, reports claimed that the suspect targeted Abe because he believed Abe’s grandfather, another former leader of Japan, had supported the growth of a religious group against which he had a grudge.
On Friday, January 13, the city of Nara prosecutors’ office said in a statement it had indicted Tetsuya Yamagami on murder and firearms charges after Abe was shot dead on July 8 while giving a campaign speech on a street in the city.
Yamagami has been undergoing psychiatric evaluation in Nara since his arrest last year to determine whether he is mentally fit to stand trial. His detention period evaluation expired on Tuesday, Japanese media NHK added.
Doctors said the bullet that killed the former prime minister was “deep enough to reach his heart” and that he died from excessive bleeding.