Death sentence sought for Asahara


TOKYO: Japanese prosecutors yesterday demanded the death sentence for the Aum Shinrikyo cult founder, Shoko Asahara, for several crimes including the 1995 sarin gas attack on a subway here that killed 12 people. 

The district court here is expected to hand down a ruling next year after the defence counsel makes final arguments on Oct 30 and 31. 

Asahara, 48, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, was indicted on 13 charges, including murder in the March 1995 subway gassing that killed 12 and injured more than 5,000. 

For most of the trial, which began on April 24, 1996, Asahara kept silent over his role in several attacks.  

Asahara pleaded not guilty to all charges on April 24, 1997, except for a VX nerve gas attack on a man. 

He also has claimed his followers committed the crimes against his will. – dpa  

  • Another perspective from The Yomiuri Shimbun, a partner of Asia News Network. 

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