Breakdown of district court ruling on Aum guru Asahara
Feb. 28, 2004
ReligionNewsBlog.com • Saturday February 28, 2004
Tokyo subway gas attack
The court convicted Asahara of ordering his followers to release sarin on Tokyo subway trains on March 20, 1995, causing 12 deaths and seriously injuring 14.
Asahara and his henchmen huddled in a limousine two days beforehand to plot the nerve gas attack, reckoning this would thwart impending police raids, the court said.
Sarin attack in Matsumoto
The court said Asahara ordered his disciples to spray sarin in a residential district in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, on June 27, 1994, in order to murder a judge who was hearing a civil suit involving Aum. The guru also intended to kill other residents of the city, the court said, convicting him for the seven deaths in the attack and serious injury to four.
Murder of lawyer Tsutsumi Sakamoto and his family
Sakamoto, 33, a lawyer helping people with complaints against Aum, his wife, Satoko, 29, and their 1-year-old son, Tatsuhiko, were slain in their Yokohama condominium on Nov. 4, 1989. The court said Asahara ordered the murders to remove the threat Sakamoto posed to the cult.
Abduction-murder of notary clerk Kiyoshi Kariya
Asahara was found guilty of ordering followers to abduct Kariya, 68, the chief clerk at the Meguro Public Notary Office, on Feb. 28, 1995 on a Tokyo street in order to question him about the whereabouts of his sister, who wanted to leave the cult. Kariya was given a general anesthesia, which led to his death from heart failure. His body was cremated in an Aum microwave heating device.
Murder of cultist Shuji Taguchi
Taguchi, 21, who had wanted to leave the cult, was murdered in February 1989 at the Aum complex in Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture. This was ordered by Asahara, the court ruled, based on testimony by Aum members.
Murder of cultist Kotaro Ochida
Ochida, 29, who had helped a female member escape from the cult’s complex in Kamikuishiki, Yamanashi Prefecture, was slain on Jan. 30, 1994, and his body was also cremated in a microwave heater. The court found Asahara guilty of ordering the murder.
Murder of cultist Toshio Tomita
Tomita, 27, whom the cult suspected was spying on it, was slain in July 1994 at the Kamikuishiki complex. Asahara was convicted of ordering the murder.
Murder of company employee Tadahito Hamaguchi with VX gas
On Dec. 12, 1994, Hamaguchi, 28, whom the cult suspected was a spy, was killed with highly toxic VX gas on an Osaka street. The court said Asahara ordered the murder.
Attempted VX murder of parking lot owner Noboru Mizuno
On Dec. 2, 1994, Aum members attempted to murder Mizuno with VX because he had helped the family of an Aum member who wanted to leave the cult. The court said Asahara ordered the hit.
Attempted murder of victims’ group leader Hiroyuki Nagaoka
On Jan. 4, 1995, Aum members attempted to kill Nagaoka by spraying VX gas at his neck on a Tokyo street. Asahara is guilty of ordering the attack.
Attempted murder of lawyer Taro Takimoto
On May 9, 1994, Aum members attempted to kill Takimoto by injecting sarin into the ventilator of his car in a parking area outside a district court while he was attending a civil suit against the cult. The court said Asahara ordered five members to kill Takimoto and was aware the sarin was lethal.
Construction of a sarin factory
Aum members completed construction of a chemical plant to mass-produce sarin by December 1994 at the Kamikuishiki complex in order to kill a large number of people.
The court ruled that Asahara was planning to spray a massive amount of sarin in Tokyo to destroy the capital and bring about his vision of a nation ruled by Aum.
Manufacture of firearms
Aum members produced gun parts and one prototype gun in 1994 and 1995 as part of a failed attempt to mass-produce automatic rifles. Asahara is guilty of ordering the arms manufacture.
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