Doomsday cult chemist appeals death sentence

A chemist sentenced to death for leading a doomsday group’s efforts to develop nerve gas used in a 1995 attack on the Tokyo subways that killed 12 people has lodged an appeal with Japan’s top court, a news report said Thursday.

Masami Tsuchiya, 41, was convicted of murder and attempted murder in the subway gassing and other attacks by the cult Aum Shinrikyo.

Tsuchiya is accused of heading the group’s drive to develop an arsenal of chemical weapons — including VX, mustard and sarin gases — intended to trigger Armageddon.

The Tokyo High Court turned down Tshuchiya’s appeal of the 2004 ruling earlier this month. Tsuchiya’s lawyers appealed that decision on Thursday, according to Kyodo News agency.

Court officials said they could not immediately confirm the report.


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AP, via the China Post, Taiwan
Aug. 24, 2006
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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday August 24, 2006.
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