Former Japanese lawmaker and YouTuber GaaSyy was served with a fresh arrest warrant Saturday for alleged online intimidation of individuals who filed criminal complaints against him, including a celebrity.
The 51-year-old, whose real name is Yoshikazu Higashitani, is suspected of intimidating Go Ayano, 41, and jewelry designer Kimio Fukutani, 47, on Instagram and the Twitcasting livestreaming service in February, police said.
GaaSyy, who was a House of Councillors lawmaker at the time, allegedly said, "Think how critically damaging it would be for a celebrity to come to a trial," and, "Doing this will make it hard for your wife and children to lead their lives," according to the police.
He was indicted Friday on suspicion of threatening to defame Ayano, Fukutani and another individual in his YouTube videos between February and August last year, among other charges.
GaaSyy became a popular after posting videos about celebrity scandals on his channel. He was stripped of his status as a lawmaker in March by the Upper House for not attending a single session since being elected last year.
GaaSyy, who moved to the United Arab Emirates before winning his seat, was placed on an international wanted list in April and Japanese police arrested him earlier this month at Narita Airport upon his arrival from the country.
He was elected on the ticket of the minor opposition NHK Party under the proportional representation system, which allocates seats in accordance with the total votes cast for each political party and its candidates.
The party, known for its criticism of the public broadcaster, has since renamed itself the Seijikajoshi48 Party.