Japanese man ‘not guilty to killing 19 over mental health’

  • Japan
  • Thursday, 09 Jan 2020

YOKOHAMA: A Japanese man accused of stabbing 19 disabled people to death pleaded not guilty in a dramatic trial session interrupted when he seemed to put something in his mouth, struggled with court officials and lay on the floor writhing.

Satoshi Uematsu, 29, a former care home worker accused of killing 19 disabled people and wounding 26 in a care centre in 2016 – one of post-war Japan’s worst mass killings – was removed from the court and did not return when the trial resumed.Before the interruption, Uematsu’s lawyer said Uematsu acknowledged details of the indictment were true, but he has a psychiatric disorder that led to diminished capacity at the time of the incident.

A calm-looking Uematsu, wearing a navy blue suit, white shirt and tie, and with his hair in a long pony tail, bowed as he entered the courtroom, Japanese media said.Soon after, Uematsu made motions as if to put something in his mouth, Japanese media said. A witness saw him struggling with court officials before the hearing was adjourned for about an hour.

Once resumed, without Uematsu, one of his lawyers said his abuse of marijuana led to mental illness. — Reuters

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