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Aum Shinrikyo developments • Saturday April 26, 2003

Kyodo (Japan), Apr. 24, 2003
Source: Kyodo News Service

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, a predecessor to AUM Shinrikyo, to which it was renamed in July 1987.

– Nov. 4, 1989
Tsutsumi Sakamoto, a lawyer helping people with complaints against the group, is killed along with his wife and 1-year-old son.

– February 1990
Asahara and 24 other AUM members run in a lower house election, in which all of them lost.

– June 27, 1994
Fatal sarin nerve gas released in a residential district in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture.

– March 20, 1995
Sarin gas released on Tokyo subway trains

– May 16, 1995
Asahara arrested in connection with the subway gassing.

– April 24, 1996
Asahara goes on trial, failing to enter plea.

– April 24, 1997
Asahara pleads not guilty, 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 for the first time. The group renames itself Aleph.

– Oct. 4, 2000
Prosecutors drop four indictment cases out of 17.

– March 13, 2003
Asahara stays silent at his first questioning.

– March 27, 2003
Asahara keeps silent at second questioning.

– April 10, 2003
Asahara does not speak at third questioning. The examination of evidence wraps up.

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

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