Aum lawyers dispute majority of evidence

Shoko Asahara’s lawyers disputed on April 24 most of more than 11,000 pieces of evidence presented by the prosecution on the 1995 Tokyo subway attack.

It was the first time that the defense team has clarified its position on the pending pieces of evidence. During a court session, the attorneys cited various doubts about the evidence, such as alleged connections between sarin nerve gas and injuries, and the indictment of Asahara for attempted murder of all of the injured victims.

Of the 3,796 victims, 1,674 needed only three days or less of treatment, the lawyers said, and that only 483 victims needed more than 30 days to recover. The attorneys said that as a result the indictment is problematic and they called for radical steps by the prosecution, such as removing the lightly injured victims from the indictment.

The lawyers also expressed strong doubts over the credibility of testimony by prosecution witnesses, especially Yoshihiro Inoue, a former key figure in Aum. Pointing out discrepancies between Inoue and other witnesses on the role he played in the subway attack, the attorneys said Inoue clearly lied to the court.

The team also demanded the prosecution’s opening statement on Asahara’s case be corrected because it included major discrepancies, such as Asahara’s motive in connection with the subway attack. The prosecution said Asahara tried to prevent an anticipated police raid on Aum facilities. But his alleged accomplices, including Inoue, have testified they believed the raid was coming regardless of the subway attack, the lawyers said.