Receiver seeks new law to liquidate Aum assets

Yomiuri Shimbun, September 19, 1999

Saburo Abe, court-appointed receiver for the Aum Supreme Truth cult, which was declared bankrupt in March 1996 by the Tokyo District Court, changed his initial plan to finalize the cult's bankruptcy proceedings by the end of this year, and decided to continue liquidation of its assets, it was learned Friday.

Abe will request that the government and political parties draw up a special law that will enable him to liquidate the current assets of the cult--which have been made by selling computers and by other means since declaring bankruptcy--to help injured survivors and families of victims of crimes committed by the cult, according to a source close to the receiver.

His decision will be officially announced Wednesday at a meeting of the claimants, the source added. The claimants, including survivors and families of the victims of two separate sarin gas attacks in the Tokyo subway system and in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, have demanded compensation totaling 3.82 billion yen.

However, the receiver has only been able to liquidate assets totaling 863 million yen so far, and only 22.59 percent of the claims have been met.

Abe's initial assessment was that he would be unable to liquidate any more of the cult's assets, and planned to complete bankruptcy proceedings with the approval of the claimants and the district court, the source said.

But authorities have discovered recently that companies related to the cult have sold 7 billion yen worth of computers per year, helping it accumulate new assets.

According to the current Bankruptcy Law, it is impossible to liquidate assets obtained by the cult after its bankruptcy in March 1996 to compensate the claimants.

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