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Friday, January 13, 2023 – Prosecutors in Japan have announced indictment of a man suspected of murdering former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last year in a fatal shooting.
Abe, 67, the former Liberal Democratic Party leader and Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, held office from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2012 to 2020, before resigning 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.
Reports at the time said the suspect had 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 he held a grudge against.
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.