The Justice Ministry began transferring seven of the 13 former Aum Shinrikyo cult members on death row from a Tokyo detention center to other facilities, sources said Wednesday, likely moving them one step closer to their execution dates.

As the Aum-related trials wrapped up in January, the ministry is believed to be considering when they should be hanged for a series of crimes that left a total of 29 people dead.

The transfers are expected to be completed by Thursday, the sources said.