February 20, 2006 |
Psychiatrists have determined that former Japanese cult leader Shoko Asahara, who is appealing his conviction in a 1995 subway gas attack, is fit for trial, national broadcaster NHK reported today. Asahara, the former leader of the Aum Shinrikyo group, was convicted and sentenced to death in the nerve gas assault on Tokyo subways and other attacks that killed a total of 27 people. His lawyers are appealing that ruling.
February 28, 2004 |
Aum Supreme Truth guru Shoko Asahara was sentenced to death by hanging Friday, almost nine years after his cult released nerve gas in Tokyo's subway, killing 12 people and sickening thousands. The Tokyo District Court's presiding judge, Shoji Ogawa, in handing down the sentence, called Asahara's crimes "vicious and merciless." "His crimes did not stop at the murder of specific individuals but expanded into indiscriminate acts of terrorism," Ogawa said.
March 29, 1997 |
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.
September 3, 1996 |
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.
May 16, 1996 |
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.
April 26, 1996 |
The leader of the cult that carried out the Tokyo subway attack celebrated afterward, welcoming his disciples back with refreshments and praising them for the nerve gas killings, prosecutors said Thursday. On the second day of a trial that has riveted the nation, prosecutors laid out their case against Shoko Asahara, portraying him as a coldblooded killer in a 99-page opening statement full of previously undisclosed details.