JAPAN HANGS CULT LEADER SHOKO ASAHARA, 6 OTHERS FOR 1995 TOKYO SUBWAY SARIN ATTACK
July 6, 2018:
The former leader of Aum Shinrikyo, the Japanese doomsday cult that carried out a sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995, was executed alongside six other members of the cult, Japanese media reported. (Sources: REUTERS, AFP, 06/07/2018)
Chizuo Matsumoto, who went by the name Shoko Asahara, was the first of 13 scheduled to be hanged for the attacks. He had been on death row for over a decade for the attack that killed 13 people and injured thousands more.
Six more Aum Shinrikyo members were executed along with their “guru”, Japanese local media reported.
Top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga confirmed the hanging, but there was no immediate comment from him or the justice ministry on the other cult members.
Asahara was sentenced to hang in 2004 on 13 charges, including the subway gas attacks and a series of other crimes that killed more than a dozen more people. The sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2006.
He pleaded not guilty and never testified, but regularly delivered rambling and incoherent monologues in English and Japanese in court during the eight years of his trial.