• Kyodo News


The Tokyo District Court has rejected a plea for a retrial filed in November on behalf of Aum Shinrikyo founder Shoko Asahara, who is on death row, sources said Wednesday.

Asahara, 54, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, was convicted of mass murder and five other counts in connection with 13 heinous crimes committed by the doomsday cult, including the fatal sarin attacks in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, in 1994 and on the Tokyo subway system in 1995.

Asahara’s second daughter filed the retrial plea and the court issued its decision Tuesday, the sources said.

Crimes committed by Aum members claimed 27 lives, and five cultists’ death sentences have been finalized. The retrial sought for Asahara is the second out of the five. The first was filed by Kazuaki Okazaki.

In February 2004, the Tokyo District Court sentenced Asahara to hang for masterminding Aum’s major crimes. The Supreme Court finalized his sentence in September 2006.

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