Japan has charged a man suspected of murdering former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe


Tokyo
CNN

Japanese A man suspected of shooting former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last year has been charged, prosecutors said Friday.

The Nara prosecutors’ office said in a statement that Tetsuya Yamagami was charged with murder and firearms charges after he was shot dead during a campaign speech on a street in the city of Abe on July 8.

The Nara District Court confirmed that CNN had received the indictment.

Yamagami has undergone a psychiatric examination in Nara since his arrest last year to determine whether he is mentally fit to stand trial, public broadcaster NHK reported. His pretrial detention ended on Tuesday, NHK added.

Yamagami was detained at the scene and confessed to shooting Abe, Nara Nishi police said.

Doctors said the bullet that killed the former prime minister “deep enough to reach his heart” and he died of profuse bleeding.

Abe, 67, a former leader of the Liberal Democratic Party and Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, served from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2012 to 2020 before resigning for health reasons.

His killing in broad daylight shocked the world and sent shock waves throughout Japan. World leaders offered their condolences as thousands lined the streets of Tokyo. A comprehensive and controversial State funeral It was held in September.

NHK reported at the time that the suspect targeted the former prime minister because he believed Abe’s grandfather – another former leader of the country – had helped the expansion of a religious group that hated him.

CNN could not independently confirm which group Yamagami was referring to, however, citing connections to Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Abe. United Church During a parliamentary session last September, the former prime minister said there were limits to understanding relations with the group after his death.

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In October, Kishida ordered an investigation into the church amid growing corruption linking his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to the controversial religious group. Ministers resign.

Originally known as the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, the church was founded in South Korea in 1954. It spread globally in the 1980s and is still prominent in parts of Asia today.

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