Chronology of AUM Shinrikyo Developments

TOKYO, March 18–(Kyodo) _ The following is a chronology of developments either involving or allegedly linked to AUM Shinrikyo cult founder Shoko Asahara.

February 1984 — Shoko Asahara forms AUM Shinsen no Kai.

July 1987 — AUM Shinsen no Kai renamed AUM Shinrikyo.

Nov. 4, 1989 — Tsutsumi Sakamoto, a lawyer helping people with complaints against AUM, is killed along with his wife Satoko, 29, and 1-year-old son Tatsuhiko at their home in Yokohama.

February 1990 — Asahara and 24 other AUM members run in a House of Representatives general election, in which all of them lose.

Aum Shinrikyo

June 27, 1994 — AUM members release sarin nerve gas in a residential district in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, killing seven people and seriously injuring four others.

March 20, 1995 — AUM members release sarin gas on Tokyo subway trains, killing 12 people and injuring more than 5,500.

March 22, 1995 – Police launch massive raids on AUM headquarters in Yamanashi Prefecture, other AUM offices.

May 16, 1995 — Asahara arrested.

March 28, 1996 – Tokyo District Court declares AUM Shinrikyo bankrupt.

April 24, 1996 — Trial of Asahara begins. Asahara refuses to enter plea.

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

Dec. 2, 1997 — Prosecutors reduce the number of injuries in the indictment on the subway attack to speed up court deliberations.

Dec. 27, 1999 — A law aimed at monitoring AUM goes into effect.

Jan. 18, 2000 — AUM admits Asahara’s involvement in crimes for the first time. The cult renames itself Aleph.

Oct. 4, 2000 — Prosecutors drop indictment in four of 17 cases.

March 13, 2003 — Asahara stays silent during his first questioning in court.

March 27, 2003 — Asahara stays silent during second questioning session.

April 10, 2003 — Asahara stays silent during third questioning session. Examination of evidence is concluded.

April 24, 2003 — Prosecutors demand death sentence for Asahara.

Oct. 31, 2003 — Asahara remains silent, trial is concluded.

Feb. 27, 2004 — Asahara gets death sentence.

March 20, 2005 – Japan marks 10 years after 1995 sarin gassing.

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Kyodo News Service, Japan
Mar. 18, 2005

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This post was last updated: Nov. 17, 2014