Asahara’s Defense Lawyers Criticize High Court Order on Appeal

Defense lawyers for AUM Shinrikyo founder Shoko Asahara said Friday they cannot accept a Tokyo High Court order instructing them to submit a prospectus to appeal a lower court ruling’s by Jan. 11 next year.

The lawyers say the high court should not set the deadline for the submission of the prospectus. ”The high court is reluctant to sincerely face the trial, and setting the deadline trespasses its discretion,” they said in a statement.

Asahara, 49, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, has refused to see the lawyers since he was sentenced to death in February over 13 cases, including the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system.

His defense team at the trial appealed the ruling to the high court immediately after the district court handed down the sentence.

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