Three held for playing doctor freed

The Japan Times, July 17, 2003

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Three Aum Shinrikyo members who had been arrested on suspicion of practicing medicine without a license in Aichi Prefecture were released Wednesday due to lack of sufficient evidence for an indictment.

The three released by the Nagoya District Public Prosecutor’s Office are Izumi Takahashi, 32, Masayuki Hirata, 48, and Tomomi Ishihara, 33. They were arrested June 25 for allegedly violating the Medical Practitioners Law.

Prosecutors said they were unable to charge them because of a lack of evidence.

Police had alleged that the three provided medical treatment for atopy by using yoga techniques on a man they met through an Internet site, even though they did not have medical licenses.

Police said that in May last year, the three made the man drink 2 liters of salt water at an Aum facility in Nagoya as treatment for his skin condition, causing him to throw up. Police did not say if the treatment cured the man.

Aum cultists carried out a deadly sarin gas attack in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, in 1994 and another one in Tokyo in 1995, as well as several other heinous crimes.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday July 24, 2003.
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