crime

30th anniversary of murder of lawyer, family by Aum members observed

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Colleagues of a 33-year-old lawyer who was murdered along with his family in 1989, by members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult prayed at his grave site in Kamakura on Monday.

Lawyer Tsutsumi Sakamoto, 33, his wife Satoko, 29, and their one-year-old son Tatsuhiko were abducted and killed by the cult on Nov 4, 1989. At the time, Sakamoto was working to help members who wanted to leave the cult. He had been warned in October 1989 by senior cult member Kiyohide Hayakawa to back off.

The Sakamotos were murdered at their Yokohama home and their bodies were found in September 1995 based on depositions by cult members. Sakamoto’s remains were found in Nadachi town, Niigata Prefecture; his wife’s remains were found in a mountainous area of Uozu in neighboring Toyama Prefecture, while the infant’s remains body was left in Omachi, Nagano Prefecture.

Hayakawa and three other cult members, Kazuaki Okazaki, Tomomasa Nakagawa and Tomomitsu Niimi, were convicted of killing the Sakamotos and sentenced to death for those murders as well as for their part in the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system, which killed 12 people and injured more than 5,000. They were executed last year with nine other Arm members, including cult leader Shoko Asahara.

Sakamoto’s colleague said Monday the case will never be ended and that he can’t stop thinking why this had to happen.

© Japan Today

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I remember that vividly, they lived not far from us at the time. I was threatened near my station by a pair of cultists after they disappeared for defacing a poster of their bhagwan.

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