• Kyodo

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Prosecutors have indicted Makoto Hirata, a former senior member of Aum Shinrikyo, on fresh charges of involvement in a blast at a Tokyo condominium and the firebombing of the cult’s Tokyo headquarters in 1995, where were allegedly carried out to confuse police investigations of Aum.

Hirata, 46, who was indicted last month on kidnapping and unlawful confinement charges following nearly 17 years on the run, will be the first Aum member to face a lay judge trial.

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