Chronology of Events Related to Asahara’s Trial

TOKYO, Sept. 15–(Kyodo) — The following is a chronology of events linked to the trial of AUM Shinrikyo cult founder Shoko Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto.

Nov. 4, 1989 — Tsutsumi Sakamoto, a lawyer assisting people with complaints against AUM, is killed along with his wife Satoko and their 1-year-old son Tatsuhiko at their home in Yokohama.

June 27, 1994 — AUM members release sarin nerve gas in a residential district in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, killing seven people and seriously injuring four others.

March 20, 1995 — AUM members release sarin gas on Tokyo subway trains, killing 12 people and injuring more than 5,500.

May 16, 1995 — Asahara arrested.

April 24, 1996 — Trial of Asahara begins. Asahara refuses to enter plea.

April 24, 1997 — Asahara pleads not guilty to all charges, except for a VX nerve gas attack on a man.

Jan. 18, 2000 — AUM admits Asahara’s involvement in crimes for the first time. The cult renames itself Aleph.

Feb. 27, 2004 — Asahara gets death sentence at the Tokyo District Court. Defense team appeals immediately.

Aug. 19, 2005 — The high court rejects the defense team’s requests to suspend trial and extend the deadline for submitting appeal documents, and decides to hold psychiatric examination on Asahara.

Aug. 31, 2005 — Defense team misses deadline for submitting documents for an appeal.

Feb. 20, 2006 — Court-appointed psychologist turns in psychiatric exam results to the high court that conclude Asahara is not mentally disturbed and he can stand trial.

March 24, 2006 — Defense team announces it will submit documents for appeal on March 28.

March 27, 2006 — The high court decides to turn down the appeal by Asahara and his defense team.

March 30, 2006 — Defense team files objection to high court’s decision to reject their appeal.

May 29, 2006 — High court turns down the objection.

June 5, 2006 — Defense team files special appeal at the Supreme Court.

Sept. 15, 2006 — The Supreme Court rejects the appeal, finalizing Asahara’s death sentence.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Sunday September 17, 2006.
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