Attempted Murder Victim Hopes Ex-AUM Member is Not Executed

TOKYO, Feb. 18–(Kyodo) _ A man whom AUM Shinrikyo cultists tried to murder in 1995 told a court on Friday he does not want one of his attackers to be executed.

Hiroyuki Nagaoka, 66, told the Tokyo High Court he does not want former senior AUM member Tomomitsu Niimi put to death. “Capital punishment may be inevitable, but if possible, I hope he could be let off it.”

Nagaoka was attacked by AUM members including Niimi with deadly VX gas on a Tokyo street in January 1995.

Niimi, 40, was earlier sentenced to death at a lower court for 11 crimes, including the attack on Nagaoka and the murder of a lawyer and his family, and has appealed the ruling.

Nagaoka had told the lower court he wanted Niimi to get the death penalty but has changed his stance after meeting Niimi three times since last November.

“The defendant has changed from what he was, and he understands he committed irreparable crimes,” Nagaoka told the court.

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Kyodo News Service, Japan
Feb. 18, 2005

Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday February 19, 2005.
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