Chronology of events related to Asahara's trial

Kyodo News Service, Japan/September 15, 2006

The following is a chronology of events linked to the trial of AUM Shinrikyo cult founder Shoko Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto.

Nov. 4, 1989 -- Tsutsumi Sakamoto, a lawyer assisting people with complaints against AUM, is killed along with his wife Satoko and their 1-year-old son Tatsuhiko at their home in Yokohama.

June 27, 1994 -- AUM members release sarin nerve gas in a residential district in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, killing seven people and seriously injuring four others.

March 20, 1995 -- AUM members release sarin gas on Tokyo subway trains, killing 12 people and injuring more than 5,500.

May 16, 1995 -- Asahara arrested.

April 24, 1996 -- Trial of Asahara begins. Asahara refuses to enter plea.

April 24, 1997 -- Asahara pleads not guilty to all charges, except for a VX nerve gas attack on a man.

Jan. 18, 2000 -- AUM admits Asahara's involvement in crimes for the first time. The cult renames itself Aleph.

Feb. 27, 2004 -- Asahara gets death sentence at the Tokyo District Court. Defense team appeals immediately.

Aug. 19, 2005 -- The high court rejects the defense team's requests to suspend trial and extend the deadline for submitting appeal documents, and decides to hold psychiatric examination on Asahara.

Aug. 31, 2005 -- Defense team misses deadline for submitting documents for an appeal.

Feb. 20, 2006 -- Court-appointed psychologist turns in psychiatric exam results to the high court that conclude Asahara is not mentally disturbed and he can stand trial.

March 24, 2006 -- Defense team announces it will submit documents for appeal on March 28.

March 27, 2006 -- The high court decides to turn down the appeal by Asahara and his defense team.

March 30, 2006 -- Defense team files objection to high court's decision to reject their appeal.

May 29, 2006 -- High court turns down the objection.

June 5, 2006 -- Defense team files special appeal at the Supreme Court.

Sept. 15, 2006 -- The Supreme Court rejects the appeal, finalizing Asahara's death sentence.

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