One of the judges who sentenced Aum Shinrikyo founder Shoko Asahara to death in 2004 over the deadly crimes he and his cult committed will preside over the appeal against Ichiro Ozawa’s acquittal up before the Tokyo High Court, according to judicial sources.
A three-judge panel led by Shoji Ogawa, 62, will try the Democratic Party of Japan power broker, who was found innocent in April of falsely reporting his political funds but now faces an appeal of that decision by prosecutors.
Ogawa was there for every session of Asahara’s trial at the Tokyo District Court starting in 1996. The charges included the sarin nerve gas attack in the Tokyo subway system in 1995.
He is also in charge of a retrial plea by a Nepalese man serving a life prison term after being found guilty, in a high court reversal, of killing a female employee of Tokyo Electric Power Co. in 1997.
Ogawa since last May has headed one of the three-judge panels at the Tokyo High Court after serving as head of the Supreme Court’s criminal affairs bureau.