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Shoko Asahara

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NEWS
May 16, 1995 | TERESA WATANABE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Japanese police arrested Aum Supreme Truth guru Shoko Asahara today on suspicion of murder in connection with the deadly poison gas attack against Tokyo subway riders, climaxing the nation's biggest criminal investigation. The arrest, carried out amid a heavy morning mist in a raid by 2,000 officers at the group's compound near Mt. Fuji, promises to unravel the mysterious poisoning, which killed 12 people, sickened 5,500 others and deeply shook this normally tranquil nation.
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WORLD
September 16, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Japan's Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the founder of the Aum Supreme Truth doomsday cult, paving the way for his execution. Shoko Asahara, 51, was convicted and sentenced to death in 2004 for masterminding attacks, including a 1995 nerve-gas attack on Tokyo subways that killed 27.
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WORLD
September 16, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Japan's Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the founder of the Aum Supreme Truth doomsday cult, paving the way for his execution. Shoko Asahara, 51, was convicted and sentenced to death in 2004 for masterminding attacks, including a 1995 nerve-gas attack on Tokyo subways that killed 27.
NEWS
March 29, 1997 | From Associated Press
The Japanese cult accused of carrying out the 1995 nerve gas attack on Tokyo's subway once raised money by selling mouthfuls of blood to its followers, a witness testified Friday. Kazuo Konya, a former cult member, told the court that he was given a "blood initiation" in 1988, drinking what was described as blood from cult leader Shoko Asahara. Konya said he paid more than $8,100 for the ritual.
NEWS
May 19, 1995 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The self-styled messiah who police believe was behind a Tokyo subway attack hinted that he may try to shift the blame for the deadly poisoning away from himself. "I can't know everything each of many disciples is doing," cult leader Shoko Asahara reportedly said. Yet even as Asahara was making his first court appearance, newspapers reported that police had found a sealed underground chamber at his rural hide-out with yet another huge cache of nerve gas ingredients.
NEWS
September 3, 1996 | From Times Wire Reports
A Tokyo court ordered apocalyptic cult guru Shoko Asahara and two of his top followers to pay nearly $7.5 million in damages to victims of last year's nerve gas attack on the city's subways. It is unlikely the money will ever be paid, because the Aum Supreme Truth cult has been declared bankrupt and ordered to disband. Regardless, survivors of the attack, which left 11 dead, consider the ruling a legal victory that could set a precedent for other civil lawsuits against the cult.
NEWS
April 25, 1996 | Associated Press
Prosecutors today accused a cult leader of ordering a nerve gas attack on Tokyo's subways because he feared a police raid. The prosecutors began laying out their case a day after cult guru Shoko Asahara refused to enter a plea to charges he masterminded the March 20, 1995, attack that killed 11 people and sickened more than 5,500. Asahara planned the attack as a diversionary tactic designed to "set off massive confusion in the Tokyo area," the prosecutors said.
NEWS
October 28, 1995 | Reuters
The murder trial of the guru accused of masterminding the deadly Tokyo subway gas attack was back on track Friday when the cult leader reappointed the lawyer he fired just two days earlier. Aum Supreme Truth leader Shoko Asahara, who faces hanging if found guilty of ordering the March 20 attack--which killed 12 people and sickened 5,500--had fired his lawyer on the eve of his trial Wednesday, forcing the Tokyo district court to call off the proceedings.
NEWS
June 15, 1995 | Times Wire Services
The alleged mastermind of the nerve gas attack on Tokyo's subway system now probably will face a charge of having ordered the strangulation of a cult underling last year. Shoko Asahara, 40, guru of the Aum Supreme Truth cult, has been in custody since May 16, charged with murder in the March 20 subway attack that left 12 people dead and 5,500 sickened.
NEWS
April 14, 1995 | SAM JAMESON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
More than 20,000 Japanese police officers set up roadblocks across the country Thursday in an attempt to arrest more leaders of the Aum Supreme Truth religious group, as its leader predicted that Tokyo would be hit by an earthquake Saturday. A heightened state of alert, implemented after Shoko Asahara's warning of a quake and another unspecified disaster in the capital, is expected to last through the weekend. Asahara, the cult's leader and prophet, remains in hiding.
NEWS
September 3, 1996 | From Times Wire Reports
A Tokyo court ordered apocalyptic cult guru Shoko Asahara and two of his top followers to pay nearly $7.5 million in damages to victims of last year's nerve gas attack on the city's subways. It is unlikely the money will ever be paid, because the Aum Supreme Truth cult has been declared bankrupt and ordered to disband. Regardless, survivors of the attack, which left 11 dead, consider the ruling a legal victory that could set a precedent for other civil lawsuits against the cult.
NEWS
May 16, 1996 | DAVID HOLLEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A defiant Shoko Asahara, leader of the Aum Supreme Truth cult accused of last year's deadly gas attack on Tokyo's subways, insisted at a legal hearing Wednesday that the evidence against his sect is fabricated. Speaking under tight security at a jailhouse hearing on whether his group should be banned as a subversive organization, Asahara, 41, said his followers are peaceful and pose no threat to society, and he called on fugitive members of the sect to surrender.
NEWS
April 25, 1996 | Associated Press
Prosecutors today accused a cult leader of ordering a nerve gas attack on Tokyo's subways because he feared a police raid. The prosecutors began laying out their case a day after cult guru Shoko Asahara refused to enter a plea to charges he masterminded the March 20, 1995, attack that killed 11 people and sickened more than 5,500. Asahara planned the attack as a diversionary tactic designed to "set off massive confusion in the Tokyo area," the prosecutors said.
NEWS
April 24, 1996 | TERESA WATANABE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Shoko Asahara, the apocalyptic guru accused of launching a campaign of mass terrorism on one of the world's largest cities, appeared in court today to answer charges of masterminding the deadly nerve gas attack on Tokyo subway riders last year. Asahara, who lured hordes of young followers into his Aum Supreme Truth cult with claims of supernatural powers and a doomsday vision of salvation, is accused of killing 11 people and injuring more than 5,500 others in the attack on March 20, 1995.
NEWS
March 27, 1996 | From Times Wire Reports
With helicopters overhead and hundreds of police blocking off streets in Tokyo, doomsday cult leader Shoko Asahara was taken from police headquarters to a Tokyo jail. The move was in anticipation of his long-delayed trial, set to begin April 24, for murder in the nerve-gas attack last year on Tokyo's subway. Meanwhile, top cult member Ikuo Hayashi admitted he played a role in the 1989 abduction and slaying of a lawyer campaigning against the cult.
NEWS
October 28, 1995 | Reuters
The murder trial of the guru accused of masterminding the deadly Tokyo subway gas attack was back on track Friday when the cult leader reappointed the lawyer he fired just two days earlier. Aum Supreme Truth leader Shoko Asahara, who faces hanging if found guilty of ordering the March 20 attack--which killed 12 people and sickened 5,500--had fired his lawyer on the eve of his trial Wednesday, forcing the Tokyo district court to call off the proceedings.
NEWS
March 29, 1997 | From Associated Press
The Japanese cult accused of carrying out the 1995 nerve gas attack on Tokyo's subway once raised money by selling mouthfuls of blood to its followers, a witness testified Friday. Kazuo Konya, a former cult member, told the court that he was given a "blood initiation" in 1988, drinking what was described as blood from cult leader Shoko Asahara. Konya said he paid more than $8,100 for the ritual.
NEWS
October 26, 1995 | SAM JAMESON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Sixteen hours before what Japan has billed as its own "trial of the century" was to begin, Shoko Asahara, 40, the cult leader accused of ordering a poison gas attack on subways here in March, forced a postponement of his murder trial by unexpectedly firing his lawyer Wednesday. Tokyo District Court, which had spent months preparing for the trial, issued a rare statement condemning Asahara's action as "extremely regrettable."
NEWS
October 5, 1995 | TERESA WATANABE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Breaking a 141-day silence, cult leader Shoko Asahara has begun confessing to involvement in the murderous poison gas attack on Tokyo subway riders earlier this year and a string of other killings and kidnapings, according to Japanese news reports. "In each case, I gave the order and group leaders carried it out," the NHK public television network quoted Asahara as saying in a written confession.
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