Aum founder’s wife freed from prison

Kyodo, Oct. 15, 2002

WAKAYAMA — The wife of Shoko Asahara, founder of the

Matsumoto was arrested in 1995 on suspicion of murdering an Aum member with her husband and others. She was sentenced by a high court to six years in prison in 1999.

The woman appealed against the high court ruling and promised she would never return to the cult. But the Supreme Court dismissed her appeal and confirmed her sentence in July last year.

According to the high court ruling, Matsumoto conspired with her husband Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, 47, and other senior Aum members to strangle Kotaro Ochida, 29, with a rope at an Aum facility in Kamikuishiki, Yamanashi Prefecture, in January 1994.

Asahara, who is accused of masterminding the subway attack, has been on trial since 1996. He is accused of 13 criminal cases, including seven murder ones.

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This post was last updated: Nov. 17, 2014