• Kyodo

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Prosecutors on Tuesday asked a family court to nullify its decision to have a 19-year-old male supervised by a juvenile probation officer after they found they had wrongfully charged him over an online threat.

In a rare move, the Yokohama District Public Prosecutor’s Office asked the family court to rescind the decision to put the teen on probation in line with the Juvenile Act, which would be tantamount to acquittal in cases involving adults.

The teen was arrested July 1 on suspicion of sending a message from his personal computer to the website of the Yokohama Municipal Government warning of a bomb attack at an elementary school.

On Aug. 15, the family court placed him on probation on the charge of forcibly obstructing business of the Yokohama government and the elementary school.

Investigators came to realize they had wrongly arrested him after an unidentified person sent email to a television station and a lawyer in Tokyo earlier this month claiming to have taken remote control of the teen’s personal computers with a special virus.

Tsuguaki Hori, deputy chief prosecutor in Yokohama, offered an apology to the teen, saying it can’t be denied that the investigation into his case was “insufficient.”

In addition to the teen, three men were wrongfully arrested in Mie, Tokyo and Osaka prefectures in connection with similar online threats believed to be caused by a malicious program enabling a third party to remotely control personal computers.

The Tsu District Public Prosecutor’s Office said Tuesday it has decided not to indict the Mie man over an online threat to destroy the Ise Grand Shrine and asked him to cooperate with its probe into the case. The 28-year-old man agreed to do so, according to prosecutors.

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