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Kyoto Animation Arsonist Case Begins Main Trial on September 5 With Verdict Scheduled for January 25

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Trial will have total of 32 hearings over course of 4 months

The Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported on Friday that the Kyoto District Court will start the main trial for the arson murder case that killed 36 people and wounded 33 others at Kyoto Animation on September 5. The court plans to announce its verdict on January 25, 2024.

The trial will have 32 total hearings. In September and October, hearings will be held two to three times a week, for a total of 10 hearings for each of those months. In November and December, hearings will be held five to six times each month.

The Kyoto District Court started pre-trial proceedings on May 8. The pre-trial was to decide the schedule for the main trial, and is also discussing prior issues and evidence. The presiding judge in the pre-trial is Keisuke Masuda.

On July 18, 2019, a devastating fire broke out at Kyoto Animation's Studio 1 building. A total of 70 people were inside the building at the time. In addition to the victims inside the building, a man in his 40s on his way to work in the area suffered minor injuries from smoke inhalation.

Kyoto Prefectural Police apprehended the then 41-year-old suspect (now 44), who allegedly used gasoline to start the fire. The man allegedly bought 40 liters of gasoline in two canisters and used a cart to transport the gasoline to Kyoto Animation's Studio 1 building. Japanese prosecutors formally indicted the suspect in December 2020.

Demolition work on Kyoto Animation's Studio 1 building concluded in April 2020. The studio started recruiting again in July 2020.

The studio streamed a memorial video in July 2022 to mark the third anniversary of the arson attack. The studio also streamed memorial videos on the previous two anniversaries.

Source: Asahi Shimbun (光墨祥吾)

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