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OSAKA — The Osaka Bar Association said Monday it will dispatch two new lawyers to see Mamoru Takuma, the suspected killer of eight Osaka schoolchildren who dismissed his lawyers last week.

The bar association said it cannot rule out the possibility that police pressured Takuma in some way to dismiss his defense team.

“We don’t understand why he suddenly dismissed them, since they said they had built trust with the suspect through daily meetings,” Takeo Mizuno, president of the bar association, said. “If the investigative side pressured him to do so, it is an infringement of his right to a defense and would be very regrettable.”

The two new lawyers are Shigeki Todani and Kohei Yokoyama.

Takuma, 37, was transferred Monday afternoon from Ikeda Police Station, where he was detained since his arrest June 8, to the Osaka District Public Prosecutor’s Office building to be questioned by prosecutors.

Takuma entered the state-run Osaka Kyoiku University Ikeda Elementary School in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, and stabbed eight children to death and injured 13 other children and two teachers, according to police.

He was overpowered by two teachers and police arrested him on the spot.

In a related development, the state-run school on Monday started for its students a “free space” program at four other elementary schools in Ikeda to prepare for scheduled resumption of classes in late August.

About 400 children — except the first- and second-graders whose classrooms were stormed by Takuma — attended the preparatory program and met each other and their teachers for the first time since the incident more then two weeks ago, school officials said.

At the municipal-run Ishibashi Elementary School, one of the four schools, the children shouted with joy and hugged their teachers in the schoolyard.

Under the program, teachers talked about the incident, then teachers and children played games together.

The preparatory program will run until July 6 in an effort to restore the children’s confidence, officials said, adding first- and second-graders will join in the program starting today.

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