Aum members linked to confinement freed from detention

Kyodo News, October 20, 1999

TOKYO, Oct. 20, 1999 (Kyodo) -- Two AUM Shinrikyo members, who were arrested late last month on suspicion of holding a female cult member against her will at an AUM facility in Nagano Prefecture, were released on Wednesday due to a lack of evidence.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office is likely not to indict the pair -- Masahiro Guntani, 30, manager of the cult's Kisofukushima facility in Nagano Prefecture, and Ryuji Shimotori, 37, a doctor and former senior member of the cult, prosecution sources said.

The female AUM follower was quoted as telling investigators, "I don't think I was confined. The training was carried out with my consent."

Guntani and Shimotori were arrested Sept. 29 on suspicion that they confined the woman against her will at the Kisofukushima facility for about 10 days in March and April last year after she expressed an intention to leave the cult facility.

The two men were suspected of binding the woman's hands and legs with adhesive tape and submerging her in a bath until she lost consciousness.

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