Man who made Putin voodoo doll and impaled Vlad to sacred shrine faces no charge

A man who was arrested after being caught nailing Vladimir Putin voodoo dolls to Japanese temples will not be prosecuted.

Mitsunobu Hino, 72, was spotted on security cameras leaving Vlad impaled after hammering an effigy of the warmongering Russian president to a tree at a sacred Shinto shrine in the town of Matsudo, which lies about 20 miles east of Tokyo in the Chiba Prefecture.

The dolls, known as wara ningyo in Japan, have repeatedly popped up on trees at the town's shrines – the places that are dedicated to local deities.

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They were secured with a spike through the doll, which is the traditional method of placing a death curse in Japan, with everyone having a picture of Putin on them.

Investigators apprehended Hino after studying video footage at a shrine and the suspect did not deny the charges when they visited his house to make the arrest.

But, having been released from police custody shortly after his arrest, it has been revealed that the case against him will, for now be going no further with the charges having been dropped.

He was let off the hook because the shrine he was filmed at – the Mikazuki Shrine – has decided not to pursue the matter, with a spokesperson for the Chiba Public Prosecutor’s Office’s Matsudo division declaring: “The victim has withdrawn the complaint.”

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Online reactions to Hino's actions were mixed with one Twitter user quipping: “I’m sort of rooting for him, but he shouldn’t nail things into the shrine’s tree.”

Another added: When they said ‘the victim has withdrawn the complaint’, I almost thought they meant Putin.”

And a third reasoned: “It looks like the wara ningyo aren’t being very effective against Putin. My co-worker thinks it’s time to change tactics and throw holy water at him instead.”

Hino, meanwhile, is still suspected of up to a dozen other voodoo doll vandalism cases in Matsudo, so could still end up on the wrong side of the law if a different shrine wants to file a complaint against him and more evidence comes to light.

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