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Saturday March 23, 2013 Religion News Briefs:
Three men who were sentenced to death for their part in the Aum Shinrikyo cult’s 1995 Sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway may be called to testify in the trial of fellow cult member Makoto Hirata.
Hirata faces trial for the fatal abduction and confinement of a notary clerk.
Also: ‘Hot Yoga’ guru Bikram Choudhury faces a sexual harassment lawsuit. Plus, more trouble for Narconon Arrowhead: Lawsuits allege its counselors traded sex for drugs.
Plus: Citizens of a polygamous cult’s town are being watched by surveillance cameras.
Wednesday March 28, 2012 Aum Shinrikyo • RNB's Religion News Blog:
The Tokyo District Court sentenced former Aum Shinrikyo member Akemi Saito to 14 months in prison Tuesday for harboring fugitive cultist Makoto Hirata for more than 14 years.
Wednesday March 7, 2012 Aum Shinrikyo • RNB's Religion News Blog:
A woman who harbored Aum Shinrikyo cult member Makoto Hirata for 17 years faces a two-year prison term.
Akemi Saito, herself a former member of the cult, pled guilty in court Tuesday to sheltering the former fugitive.
Tuesday February 21, 2012 Aum Shinrikyo • RNB's Religion News Blog:
Prosecutors in Japan have indicted Makoto Hirata, a former senior member of the AUM Shinrikyo cult, on fresh charges of involvement in a blast at a Tokyo condominium and the throwing of a firebomb into the group’s Tokyo headquarters in 1995.
The attacks were staged in a bid to disrupt police investigations into the cult.
Tuesday January 31, 2012 Aum Shinrikyo • RNB's Religion News Blog:
Former AUM Shinrikyo cult member Makoto Hirata, 46, arrested for kidnapping, will be served a fresh arrest warrant as early as Jan. 31 for alleged involvement in a 1995 bombing in Tokyo.
Meanwhile another former Aum Shinikyo cult member was charged with harboring Hirata while knowing he was a fugitive.
Friday January 20, 2012 Aum Shinrikyo • RNB's Religion News Blog:
A senior member of Aum Shinrikyo — the doomsday cult behind the 1995 nerve gas attack on Tokyo subways — has been charged in a kidnapping case, one of dozens of cult-related crimes in the 1990s.
Prosecutors charged Makoto Hirata with “unlawful capture” and confinement Friday in connection with the fatal abduction of a lawyer.
Tuesday January 10, 2012 Aum Shinrikyo • RNB's Religion News Blog:
Aum Shinrikyo • RNB's Religion News Blog:
A former AUM Shinrikyo follower who turned herself in to Tokyo police early Tuesday was arrested later in the day on suspicion of harboring Makoto Hirata — a former senior member of the cult, who was apprehended on New Year’s Day after surrendering to the police.
Thursday January 5, 2012 Aum Shinrikyo • RNB's Religion News Blog:
Tokyo police have questioned a former AUM Shinrikyo cult member as part of their investigation into a case involving another former leading member who turned himself in to police over the weekend after almost 17 years on the run.
Other convicted Aum members are being questioned as well.
Tuesday January 3, 2012 Aum Shinrikyo • RNB's Religion News Blog:
Japanese police have admitted they turned away one of the nation’s most wanted fugitives when he tried to surrender on New Year’s Eve after nearly 17 years on the run.
An officer thought the man was playing a practical joke.
Monday January 2, 2012 Aum Shinrikyo • RNB's Religion News Blog:
Aum Shinrikyo fugitive Makoto Hirata, who turned himself in to police late Saturday believes guru Shoko Asahara should hang for his crimes.
But one of the cult’s victims has called on the Japanese government to abandon the looming execution of the group’s leaders.
Sunday January 1, 2012 Aum Shinrikyo • RNB's Religion News Blog:
Makoto Hirata, a former leading member of the AUM Shinrikyo cult who has been on the run for more than 16 years, turned himself in to police late Saturday.
He conspired with several other members in kidnapping a notary official in 1995 and causing his death.
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