Shinji Aoba, the arsonist behind the Kyoto Animation fire from last year, has been formally charged for the crime. He was deemed mentally capable to be held criminally liable last week. The Japanese prosecutors indicted him on Wednesday, December 16.
“Aoba was indicted on charges of murder, attempted murder, arson, breaking and entering, and violating the firearms and sword control law.”
In the crime that saw 36 people killed and 32 others injured, Aoba also suffered severe burns. That’s the reason that the police could not serve an arrest warrant until May this year since he required treatment for his injuries. He also has a history of mental illness, which is why it had to be investigated whether he was criminally liable.
Following his arrest, Aoba admitted to setting fire to the studio. He said: “I thought I could kill many people by using gasoline.” When he learned that 36 people died either in the attack or due to sustained injuries and that another 33 survivors suffered serious injuries, he responded with (Sou nan desu ka?) “Oh is that so?” The 42 year-old had been unaware of just how many people had perished. “I thought maybe about two people died.” he told the officials. He also admitted that his goal was to kill as many as possible.
Meanwhile, KyoAni is slowly getting back. They recently released the Violet Evergarden movie, which has been doing great among fans. It even recently became the 2nd movie from the studio to ever earn over 2 billion yen! They also have several other projects coming up in 2021, and every fan is looking forward to those!
Although charged for the crime against Kyoto Animation, it will likely take some time for the arsonist to face trial. “According to the Supreme Court, the average pretrial arrangement procedure period was 2.8 months in 2009, but it tends to be longer, with an average of 8.2 months in 2018.” (NHK)