Asahara’s appellate trial to proceed

The Tokyo High Court told Shoko Asahara’s lawyers Monday that it will not suspend his trial despite their claim he is suffering from a mental disorder, the lawyers said.

The lawyers said they will file an appeal over the decision, saying the high court should have at least conducted simple mental tests on Asahara.

The 49-year-old founder of Aum Shinrikyo is appealing a death sentence over 13 cases, including the deadly 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system.

The high court has set a Jan. 11 deadline for his lawyers to submit documents needed to begin the appeals trial.

On Oct. 28, the lawyers asked the high court to suspend the trial and conduct mental examinations on Asahara, saying he cannot stand trial due to physical and mental illness.