Police from four prefectures have separately issued apologies for cases of mistaken arrests made in the course of investigating threats of violence sent through email to different institutions. The computers of those arrested were later discovered to have been compromised by a virus that let the real culprit control the computers remotely.
Osaka Prefectural Police met with Masaki Kitamura and his family to apologize for the wrongful arrest of the 43 year old anime producer on August 26. Prosecutors have requested the district court to cancel Kitamura’s indictment after it was proven that his computer was infected with the said virus. Mie police have also offered their apologies to a 28 year old man who was arrested for threatening to bomb the Grand Ise Shrine. Kanagawa police have similarly apologized to the wrongful arrest of a 19 year old youth suspected of sending a threat to attack an elementary school in Yokohama.
The Metropolitan Police Department visited the home of a man in Fukuoka who was arrested for sending an email threatening a kindergarten in Tokyo. The police did not initially check the man’s computer for infection because the suspect admitted to the wrong doing. The man later recanted saying he was trying to protect a woman he is living with whom he thought might have sent the email. Further investigation has led to the same discovery about the other three computers.
The police have promised all those who were wrongfully detained that they will do everything they can to apprehend the real culprit. They also said that they will look into improving their investigation methods so that these incidents will not be repeated.
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