The defense counsel for Aum Shinrikyo founder Shoko Asahara drew flak from the judge for asking a National Police Agency scientist questions that went into too much detail Thursday as the guru’s trial marked its 100th session after 2 1/2 years of deliberations.
A witness for the prosecution, Yasuo Seto, a member of the agency’s science team that examined victims’ blood samples following the sarin attack in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, took the stand to answer technical questions. Seven people were killed and hundreds were injured in the attack in June 1994.
Seto testified in an earlier session that his team had judged that the seven victims had died after being exposed to some form of poison gas, such as sarin. Responding to the lawyers, he explained the techniques they used to examine samples and the information that led the scientists to their conclusion.
At one point, presiding Judge Fumihiro Abe stopped the proceedings and urged the lawyers to refrain from making their questions too detailed.
Asahara, 43, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, sat quietly in the defendant’s seat and often placed his hands on his head during the procedure. He has been indicted in connection with 17 criminal cases, including the March 1995 Tokyo subway sarin gas attack that left 12 people dead and more than 3,800 injured.
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