Religious group leaders jailed for murder

Mainichi Shimbun, May 19, 2000

KYOTO - The head of a religious group and four accomplices were slapped with prison terms Thursday for assaulting and drowning a 48-year-old follower.

The Kyoto District Court sentenced Hiroshi Terao, 54, of the Hoyu-no-kai, headquartered in Fukuchiyama, Kyoto Prefecture, to four years and six months in prison for inflicting bodily injury resulting in death.

His four accomplices, all followers of the group, were sentenced to two years and six months imprisonment respectively.

According to the ruling, in July 1990, the victim and the five plaintiffs went on a Hoyu-no-kai-organized outing to a spa resort in Miyazu, Kyoto Prefecture, along with other members of the group and their families.

At the time, the five reproached the man for the absence of his younger sister, also a believer, from group activities. They then hit the man in the face and threw him in the sea.

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