December 21 2022
NARA – Nara District Court on Tuesday nullified a decision by Nara Summary Court to extend the psychiatric evaluation period for the suspect in the fatal shooting of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The defense team for the suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, 42, who has been sent to public prosecutors on suspicion of murder, had filed a quasi-appeal against the summary court’s decision, made on Monday, to push back the end date of the evaluation period to Jan. 23 next year from Jan. 10 in the same year.
The district court accepted the quasi-appeal, saying that it is difficult to acknowledge the need for a further extension and that it is also not reasonable to have the period extended in consideration of disadvantages to be created for the suspect, according to the defense team.
The psychiatric evaluation for Yamagami to examine whether he is competent to take criminal responsibility, which started on July 25, 2022, was initially scheduled to end on Nov. 29 this year. Although its extension until Feb. 6, 2023, was once approved, Yamagami’s lawyers made an objection, and the extension was cut to until Jan. 10 next year.
On July 8 this year, Yamagami shot Abe from behind while the former prime minister was giving a campaign speech in Nara Prefecture, western Japan. He was arrested on the spot.