Former Aum Shinrikyo member Yasuo Hayashi apologized during testimony Monday at the Tokyo District Court to the families of eight people who died after he released nerve gas on the Tokyo subway in March 1995.

“I am truly sorry for the people who lost their lives (in the subway gas attack),” Hayashi said, identifying the eight by name. “I read papers that reported the feelings of the bereaved families. I have put their loved ones to death and …” he said, stopping in an apparent loss for words. He also apologized to society for disturbing public order and causing fear.

Hayashi, 40, is also charged in two other cases — the June 1994 nerve gas attack in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, and the foiled cyanide gas attack at Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station in May 1995.

Hayashi was arrested in December 1996 on Ishigaki Island in Okinawa Prefecture after 18 months on the run. He has cooperated with the court since his first trial in June 1997.

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