Former Aum Shinrikyo fugitive, Yasuo Hayashi, 40, testified in court Tuesday that he wiretapped phones, including that of an anti-Aum group chief.

“(Kiyohide) Hayakawa ordered me to bug (Hiroyuki) Nagaoka’s phone on at least 10 occasions,” said Hayashi, adding that he was also ordered to wiretap the phones of other members of the Aum Shinrikyo Victims Association, of which Nagaoka was chairman.

Hayashi said the wiretapping of Nagaoka’s phones continued for several years until the early 1990s. Kiyohide Hayakawa is a former senior Aum leader who is being tried separately over involvement in a series of alleged crimes by Aum members.

Also among the targets of Hayashi’s operation were runaway followers of the cult, as well as candidates who competed with Aum leader Shoko Asahara in a Tokyo constituency in the 1990 Lower House election.

Hayashi said he placed the wiretap to find out whether Nagaoka had placed a certain cult member under his custody.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.