A man charged with 10 counts of sending several violent threats through virus- infected computers has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. 31-year-old Yusuke Katayama told the Tokyo District Court that the indictments he is facing are “absolutely groundless” and claims that the evidence is not enough to convict him.
Katayama was arrested a year ago and is suspected of using Internet message boards to infect personal computers back in 2012. They allege that he then used these viruses to control the infected PCs and send out email threats, including a bomb threat to a kindergarten where Emperor Akihito’s grandchildren go to and another one that forced a Japan Airlines flight bound to New York to go back to the Narita Airport. Investigators say that they were able to find traces of the virus in a PC located at the IT company where Katayama worked. They also say he was previously in the location where the memory device with the virus was found. But they have been unable to find material evidence and Katayama continues to profess his innocence.
He was arrested back in 2005 for making murder threats on discussion forum 2channel. He told investigators back then that he wanted his messages to turn into “festivities.” He is also alleged to have sent emails to the media in 2012, saying he wanted to trick the police and the prosecutors, apparently since he was still bitter for his 2005 arrest. The police had wrongfully arrested four individuals for the email threats but these men were just a victim of the computer virus that Katayama allegedly sent. He also allegedly led police on a goose, or rather, a cat chase when a hacker left a string of clues that led to a cat living in the Endoshima island and wearing a collar containing the memory card with the virus.