Yokohama: The man accused of the 2016 murder of 19 disabled people at a Japanese care home admitted the attack as his trial opened Wednesday but pleaded not guilty on grounds of diminished capacity.
Satoshi Uematsu, a former employee of the care centre outside Tokyo, did not dispute his involvement in the horrifying stabbing rampage during his first court appearance on charges including murder.
After prosecutors read out the details of the charges, the judge asked Uematsu "is there anything in the charges that differs from the facts?" "No there isn't," Uematsu replied, dressed in a navy suit with a white shirt and tie, his long black hair tied back in a ponytail.
But despite admitting the attack, Uematsu's lawyers entered a plea of not guilty, saying their client was suffering a "mental disorder" at the time.
"He was in a condition in which either he had no capacity to take responsibility or such a capacity was significantly weakened," his lawyer said.
Traces of marijuana were found in Uematsu's system after the attack, and his legal team has claimed drug use may have affected him.
The session was disrupted shortly after it began when court security restrained Uematsu after he reportedly attempted to put something in his mouth.
The disturbance prompted the judge to call an unscheduled recess, though the session was due to resume in the afternoon.
Uematsu has reportedly said he wanted to eradicate all disabled people in the horrifying attack at the Tsukui Yamayuri-en centre in the town of Sagamihara outside Tokyo.
The 29-year-old is accused of breaking into the facility and moving room-to-room, killing 19 people and injuring 26 -- half of them seriously.