crime

Last Aum defendant sentenced to life in prison

13 Comments

The final suspect in the 1995 nerve gas attack on Tokyo's subway was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday after a trial lasting three months.

Katsuya Takahashi, a 57-year-old former member of the Aum Supreme Truth cult, had denied being involved in unleashing sarin nerve gas on the underground rail system, in an attack that sparked rush hour chaos in the capital, killing 13 people and injuring thousands more.

"I did not know the thing released was sarin," said Takahashi, who was charged with murder and other crimes. "I didn't intend to kill people."

The verdict at the Tokyo District Court was handed down by six lay and three professional judges.

Police captured Takahashi in June 2012, bringing to an end the hunt for those thought to be behind the coordinated release of the Nazi-developed gas.

He was also accused of conspiring with other members to send an explosive to then-Tokyo Gov Yukio Aoshima in 1995, an incident that injured a Tokyo government official.

Takahashi, who was on the run for more than 17 years, was a one-time guard for Aum leader Shoko Asahara, and allegedly served as a driver when cult members released the gas.

Asahara, a partially blind guru who preached a blend of Buddhist and Hindu dogma mixed with apocalyptic messages, developed an obsession with sarin, becoming paranoid that his enemies would attack him with it.

He was arrested at a commune near Mount Fuji two months after the attack on Tokyo and sentenced to hang, having been convicted of crimes resulting in multiple deaths. He remains on death row, along with 12 other cult members.

During Takahashi's trial, several death-row inmates testified.

© Japan Today/AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

13 Comments
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Enjoy your time Mr Takahashi....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What a waste of life. The victims, the defendants, the lot of them. And still old Matsumoto Chizuo sits in his jail cell, hopefully choking on his melons.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I wonder when will the JPGov hang the founder of Aum Asahara. Its been yaerssssss.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Not going to shed a single tear for this piece of trash. At least he has got his peace in death now - the peace that survivors and the families of the victims will probably never find in their lives.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Not going to shed a single tear for this piece of trash. At least he has got his peace in death now

Understand the sentiment but just when do you expect that death to occur? He is now going to be eating, sleeping, drinking and all other assorted bodily functions on our yen and seeing as how the system will take care of his health too his death is probably going to be decades far into the future.

Peace in death? Right.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There is no hole deep enough.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry, wishful thinking... I read he was 'sentenced to death'.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“I did not know the thing released was sarin,” said Takahashi....

Then what the hell did he think they were planning, a helium attack with hidden cameras ?

I hope his excuses fall on deaf ears.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The death penalty is cruel and wrong and those who impose it show themselves to be the same level of human being as those that are sentenced to it. You have become what you hate.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The death penalty is cruel and wrong and those who impose it show themselves to be the same level of human being as those that are sentenced to it. You have become what you hate.

No, there is a big difference between killing an innocent person and killing a scumbag that killed an innocent person.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Perhaps now that the final suspect has been charged they can move along with stopping these cultists from wasting our tax payer money with a series of short drops.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

a series of short drops.

Why not just put them all in a small room and gas them to death? Kill all with one stone.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good riddance! I asked a lawyer-friend of mine here in Japan if the Yakuza frightened him, and he told me no because the gangsters clearly understand the legal consequences of any threats or assaults. However, he went on to say, "The cults are a whole different matter because they don't care about the legal consequences at all. They will stalk you and make strange phone calls, so you have to be looking over your shoulder when dealing with them, especially when on the opposing side."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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