Monday, 19 November, 2018

Cult leader executed for Japan sarin attacks still a mystery

Police officers stand guard in front of Tokyo Detention Center where former leader of Aum the Japanese doomsday cult Chizuo Matsumoto who went by the name Shoko Asahara was executed in Tokyo Japan Cult leader executed for Japan sarin attacks still a mystery
Gerardo Duncan | 09 July, 2018, 06:16

Tokyo residents who lived through the chaos and horror of nerve gas being released on the city's subway lines during rush hour on March 20, 1995, have expressed relief tinged with concern after the execution of Shoko Asahara on Friday morning.

Shoko Asahara, the leader of the Aum Shinrikyo cult in Japan, was executed by hanging on Friday. Japanese media reports say on Friday, July 6, 2018, Asahara, who has been on death row for masterminding the 1995 deadly Tokyo subway gassing and other crimes, has been executed. He was among 13 people placed on death row in connection with the string of crimes perpetrated by the doomsday cult.

"When I think of those who died because of them, it was a pity (my husband's) parents and my parents could not hear the news of this execution", she said. "Now, I can pay a visit to her grave and tell her of this".

AUM Shinrikyo renamed itself Aleph in January 2000.

Asahara, the 63-year-old self-styled religious leader was hanged shortly after dawn at the Tokyo Detention House, more than 23 years after he was arrested.

The Aum cult was a clear danger to not only to Japan but also to the United States, a 1995 report by a U.S. Senate subcommittee concluded.

In a February 2004 ruling, the Tokyo District Court found Asahara guilty of all 13 charges and sentenced him to death, saying, "We can not help saying that the motivation and objective of the crimes were too outrageous and ridiculous, as he tried to control Japan in the name of salvation".

The sarin gas attack killed 13 people and sickened more than 6,000.

The images of bodies, many in business suits, sprawled across subway platforms stunned Japan, and triggered public safety steps such as the removal of non-transparent rubbish bins that remain in force to this day. Some followers are believed to still worship Asahara and could increasingly view him as divine after his execution, according to the official.

Aum Shinrikyo's killings began in November 1989, when lawyer Tsutsumi Sakamoto - who was working on a class action case against the cult - was brutally murdered along with his wife and child.

Executions are rare in Japan but surveys show most people support the death sentence.

At Aum's peak in 1995, the number of members exceeded 10,000, but now only about 1,650 members belong to the groups that originated from Aum.

He pleaded not guilty and never testified, but muttered and made incoherent remarks in court during the eight years of his trial.

The group gradually became a paranoid doomsday cult, convinced the world was about to end in a global war and that only they would survive.

The cult claimed to have 10,000 members in Japan and 30,000 in Russian Federation but has disbanded.

Recommended

Quebec Heat Wave Kills 33 Quebec Heat Wave Kills 33 The heat wave is expected to end by Thursday evening with temperatures between 23 and 25 degrees Celsius over the next few days.

England's Phil Jones says squad cannot wait for opening World Cup game England's Phil Jones says squad cannot wait for opening World Cup game England go into this summer's World Cup on a four-match winless run in the competition - but history suggests they can quickly buck the trend.

Belgium's high scorers take on Brazil's miserly defence Belgium's high scorers take on Brazil's miserly defence The Belgium victor produced a pre-tournament bracket on the entire World Cup knockout stages three days before the opening match. France have always been a footballing stronghold but as we have seen in this World Cup , reputation precedes determination.

Woman Poisoned With Nerve Agent in England Dies Woman Poisoned With Nerve Agent in England Dies Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, almost died of exposure to Novichok left on the front doorstep of Sergei's home in March. But, they say, "it is important that the investigation is led by the evidence available and the facts alone".

Trump's SCOTUS nominee could make or break the Missouri Senate race Trump's SCOTUS nominee could make or break the Missouri Senate race Trump has said that he will reveal his pick this Monday, July 9 - 12 days after Kennedy announced his retirement - at 9/8c. Mr Trump had on Friday discussed the nomination with Vice President Mike Pence in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Trump says "it's possible" North Korea nuclear agreement could collapse Trump says Korean language watermark on image as provided by source reads: "KCNA" which is the abbreviation for Korean Central News Agency. He said North Korea's weapons program could largely be ended in a year.

Tropical Depression forms in the Atlantic Tropical Depression forms in the Atlantic This system appears to be less organized, the center said , and the chances for a tropical depression to form are diminishing. During an El NiƱo, strong upper-level winds roar across the Caribbean and Atlantic, tearing apart developing tropical storms.

We will keep Gulf open despite Iran threat We will keep Gulf open despite Iran threat The global community had expected sanctions waivers for some countries, a tactic used in the Obama era to avoid supply shocks. Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili speaks to journalists at a news conference in Tehran, Iran March 7, 2005.

Serena Williams beats Viktoriya Tomova to reach Wimbledon third round Serena Williams beats Viktoriya Tomova to reach Wimbledon third round He makes it look easy, he has so many options, so as he gets older maybe if he loses half a step, it doesn't change how he plays. The third set was one-way traffic as Federer killed the contest with a ferocious forehand after 90 minutes of brilliance.

Oprah Winfrey Dishes on Prince Harry, Meghan Markle's Royal Wedding Oprah Winfrey Dishes on Prince Harry, Meghan Markle's Royal Wedding Oprah Winfrey says Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding last month gave her "hope". Unfortunately, no price tag for both dresses at the moment.

Uruguay's Cavani has swollen calf, not tear, as France loom Uruguay's Cavani has swollen calf, not tear, as France loom What emerged as well was a seemingly popular view that Messi couldn't deliver on the worldwide stage. Many people, however, didn't want to count out Portugal due to the mere presence of Ronaldo.

Galaxy Tab S4 render leak: looks familiar Galaxy Tab S4 render leak: looks familiar The smartphone is bundled with an inbuilt storage space of 64GB which can further be expanded up to 256GB using a microSD card. While there is no confirmation, the Galaxy Tab S4 might come powered by last-gen Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor.

Sanders: Trump will lower flags for victims of Capital Gazette shooting Sanders: Trump will lower flags for victims of Capital Gazette shooting The decision follows a request over the weekend by Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley, D, which he said was initially not granted. It was one of three letters Ramos sent before last week's shooting , Anne Arundel County police said Monday .

Thailand cave rescue: Medics reach trapped boys Thailand cave rescue: Medics reach trapped boys The governor of Chiang Rai province, Narongsak Osatanakorn, said that all 13 were found safe at about 10:30 pm local time Monday. Other teams are still scouring the mountainside in the hope of finding another way in to the cave. "I want to give him a hug".

Osorio promises Mexico will attack 'best in the world' Brazil Osorio promises Mexico will attack 'best in the world' Brazil Replays showed that Layun did in fact step on Neymar's leg, but his exaggerated reaction after the foul was something to behold. Mexico and Brazil kick off 2018 World Cup soccer games on Monday in the highest profile knockout stage game thus far.