Abe shooting suspect transferred to police station after mental evaluation

The suspect in the shooting death of former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has been moved to a police station in Nara City, western Japan, after a psychiatric evaluation.

A van carrying Yamagami Tetsuya arrived at Nara Nishi Police Station after leaving a detention house in Osaka City on Tuesday afternoon.

He was wearing glasses and a mask, and looked downward before walking into the station.

Abe was shot dead last July while making a campaign speech in Nara.

Police are holding Yamagami on suspicion of murder and other charges.
Prosecutors in Nara sent him to a detention house to determine whether he can be held criminally responsible. The psychiatric evaluation lasted about six months, starting last July.

The evaluation involved interviewing the suspect about his family environment and relationship with his mother, who belonged to the religious group widely known as the Unification Church.

The suspect had told police he was motivated by a grudge against the group. He said he shot Abe because he believed the former prime minister had close ties with the group.

Relatives of Yamagami said he complained about having to repeatedly answer the same questions, such as "What do you think about your mother's donations to the group?"

Prosecutors concluded that Yamagami is mentally fit to stand trial. They based their assessment on the results of the evaluation and factors such as his building of homemade guns and alleged careful preparation for the attack by checking Abe's campaign schedule.

The prosecutors plan to indict Yamagami by Friday, when his period of detention ends.