Tokyo – Relatives of the founder of a doomsday cult behind the fatal 1995 gas attack on the Tokyo subway want him admitted to hospital because his mental state is deteriorating, news reports said on Tuesday.
The family of Shoko Asahara, the former acupuncturist who preached a unique mix of Hindu and Buddhist tenets, filed a motion with the Tokyo District Court saying he was being illegally held without treatment for mental disorders, Jiji Press and the Japan Broadcasting Corporation said.
Officials at the court declined comment, saying the proceedings were closed to the public.
Asahara’s daughters have told AFP previously that their father, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, has become unable to express himself, wears nappies and mumbles unintelligibly after a decade in detention.
Asahara was sentenced to death in February last year for crimes including the subway attack, in which cult members spread Nazi-invented sarin gas on rush-hour trains.
Twelve people were killed and thousands more injured.
He is appealing the verdict but the trial has been stalled because Asahara’s lawyers say it is impossible to communicate with him.
June 21, 2005