Man freed after admitting he threatened prince

Kyodo

Prosecutors have released a man who was arrested for sending an email to a kindergarten threatening harm to Prince Akishino’s son and other preschoolers in late August, suspecting someone else issued the threat via a virus in his personal computer, even though he admitted the offense.

The Metropolitan Police Department arrested the man from Fukuoka for sending a message from a personal computer at his home on the afternoon of Aug. 27, saying he “will attack kindergartners including Prince Hisahito at the opening ceremony,” investigative sources said.

He had faced a police charge of obstructing business at the kindergarten affiliated with Ochanomizu University in Tokyo, attended by the prince and other children, the sources said. He owned up to the threat, they said, but he was released in late September without being charged. His PC was found to be infected with a computer virus that allows remote control from outside, similar to one that infected the PCs of two other men arrested and then released in late September by Osaka and Mie police, they said.

“It’s not clear if it was remotely controlled or not, but he was released in an act of precaution as the timing of the incident overlapped with the cases in Osaka and Mie,” the sources said.

In the Osaka case, prosecutors released a 42-year-old man who was indicted for posting a mass murder threat on the website of the Osaka Municipal Government after discovering the virus in the man’s personal computer, making it likely someone else send the message via the man’s computer.