Aum Shinrikyo: cult guru death sentence appeal rejected

The Tokyo High Court today rejected a defence motion appealing against the death sentence of a former doomsday cult leader who masterminded a 1995 Tokyo underground gassing that killed 12 people.

The decision paved the way for former Aum Shinrikyo cult guru Shoko Asahara to be executed, Kyodo News agency and public broadcaster NHK said. Defence lawyers were not immediately available for comment.

The Tokyo High Court had rejected the defence’s appeal against the death sentence in March, prompting Asahara’s lawyers to file an objection.

Today’s decision overruled the objection, although NHK reported that another appeal is possible.

Asahara’s lawyers objected to the original ruling, saying it was based on a mistaken psychiatric assessment.

Asahara, born Chizuo Matsumoto, was convicted in 2004 and sentenced to hang for masterminding the 1995 Tokyo assault, in which members of the doomsday group released deadly sarin gas on city trains.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above), Ireland
May 30, 2006

Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday May 30, 2006.
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