Net threat suspect denies being perp


The man under arrest for allegedly making online threats through hijacked personal computers has told his lawyer he is not guilty and that no evidence of a computer virus for remotely controlling PCs will be found at his home.

According to attorney Hiroshi Sato and other sources, Yusuke Katayama of Tokyo has admitted visiting Enoshima, Kanagawa Prefecture, where a cat was found with a collar containing a data storage device linked to the case, it was learned Thursday.

“I took photos (of the cat), but didn’t attach the collar,” Katayama was quoted as telling his lawyer about the visit to Enoshima on Jan. 5.

Katayama, who works for an information technology company, was arrested last Sunday. His lawyer quoted him as saying that “evidence of a remote control virus shouldn’t come out from my home or the office I worked at.”

The cat in Enoshima was found based on hints found in emails sent in January by someone who claimed to have made the online threats between last June and September, including warnings of attacks on schoolchildren, mass murder and destruction of a landmark shrine.

Police were embarrassed when they arrested the owners of the hijacked PCs by mistake.

According to the messages that found their way onto the Internet, the perpetrator holds a grudge against the police and prosecutors for implicating him in a previous crime, whereas Katayama reportedly told his lawyer he has no such feelings toward law enforcement authorities.

The cat wore a collar that carried a micro SD card containing data for a remote control virus. The police determined that it was attached by the party who originated the online threats. A security camera captured a person who the police believe was Katayama approaching the cat, and this led to his arrest.