The defense counsel for Aum Shinrikyo founder Shoko Asahara continued its detailed questioning of a former senior cultist Friday, trying to disprove his contention that he was reluctant to release sarin on a Tokyo subway car in March 1995.
Yasuo Hayashi, 40, was making his ninth appearance in the Asahara murder trial as a witness for the prosecution. Hayashi is also standing trial for his alleged involvement in the June 1994 sarin attack in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, the foiled cyanide gas attack at Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station in May 1995, as well as the earlier subway gassing, which left 11 people dead and 3,796 injured. He has admitted being involved in all three crimes.
Hayashi earlier testified that he was unwilling to carry out the indiscriminate killing, but felt he had to lest he be punished — or even killed — by the cult.
Asahara’s lawyers pressed him on whether he was really unwilling to carry out the mass murder. “While you say you didn’t want to (be involved), did you ever act on your feelings?” one lawyer asked. Hayashi conceded that his rebellion was passive.
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