In a recent development, the President of KyoAni, Hideaki Hatta, appeared in the court for the 11th trial of Kyoto Animation Arson attack. During the hearing he rubbished the plagiarism claims put forth by the arsonist, Shinji Aoba, that the studio stole one of his novels.
“Our Company is not a company that steals people’s ideas,” the President said, denying the allegations.
When asked about what he felt about Aoba during the witness examination, he expressed that the incident was heartbreaking and that it only occured due to his delusions.
He also added that he believed that a proper judgement will be handed down to the perpertrator.
“This incident occurred due to the defendant’s delusions, and it is heartbreaking. The families (of the victims) are going through difficult days. I believe that a proper judgment will be made.“
During the first hearing of his trial on Sep 5, 2023, Shinji Aoba admitted that he indeed was responsible for the fire that ravaged Kyoto Animation’s Studio 1 on the morning of July 18, 2019.
Despite admitting to the crime, Aoba’s defense team entered a plea of not guilty on the grounds of the accused being mentally incompetent or of diminished mental capacity when he committed the crime. The defense team is aiming to get a reduced punishment.
The verdict of the trial will come out of Jan 25, 2024 after 23 more sessions.
A devastating fire had broken out at KyoAni’s Studio 1 building on July 18, 2019. At the time, there were 70 people inside the building. The fire claimed the lives of 36 people and injured 33 more. Aside from the victims inside the building, the smoke also injured a man in his forties who was on his way to work.
Kyoto Animation’s productions were initially paused after the attack, and the onset of the pandemic further delayed its projects.
As a fresh comeback from the two-year aftershock of the tragedy, the studio resumed its production activities with the release of the second season of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.
Two memorials, as a symbol to honor the arson attack victims, are set to be unveiled on July 18, 2024, in order to mark the 5th anniversary of the incident.
Source: Yahoo Japan