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Arsonist sentenced for 2019 attack on Kyoto Animation studio

A man who set fire to the Kyoto Animation studio killing 36 people and injuring 32 others in July 2019 has been sentenced to death by a Japanese court.

The prosecution sought the death penalty, reasoning that Aoba Shinji was of sound mind when he ignited gasoline that was poured inside the building. Aoba explained he was angry at Kyoto Animation for allegedly stealing work he had submitted to the studio.

NHK World reported from the Kyoto District Court that Judge Masuda Keisuka ruled Aoba was not insane at the time of the incident, that “Aoba hesitated to commit the crime” and “acting as if he was avoiding people’s eyes.”

Defense lawyers contended that he was delusional, suffering from a mental disorder, meaning he could not be held criminally responsible for the arson.

An execution date was not mentioned.

Kyoto Animation was founded in 1981 and was involved in many popular series like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, K-On!, Free! and most recently, a sequel to Tsurune.

An outpouring of support by fans around the world at the time of the attack raised funds for the victims, including a campaign organized by Sentai Filmworks.

Source: NHK World


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