• Kyodo

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A 60-year-old man in Tochigi Prefecture who claims he is an exorcist was arrested Thursday on suspicion of killing a diabetic boy by telling his parents to halt the administration of insulin, police said.

Hiroji Kondo is suspected of instructing the parents of Shun Imai, a 7-year-old second grader at an elementary school, to stop giving him insulin around early April, despite knowing he was highly likely to die without it.

Shun, who had Type 1 diabetes, became increasingly debilitated and died at a Tochigi hospital on April 27.

Kondo denies causing the boy’s death, the police said.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease usually diagnosed in children and young adults. Due to a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, its administration must be continued indefinitely for survival.

Having been requested to attend to the boy by his parents in December last year, Kondo repeatedly rubbed Shun’s body and chanted a spell as part of his “treatment” and received several million yen in fees, the police said.

“He won’t recover by insulin because he has the ‘god of death’ in his stomach,” Kondo was quoted as saying by the police.

Police are also questioning Shun’s parents on suspicion of negligence resulting in their son’s death.

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