Court shoots down Asahara retrial

Kyodo News/September 16, 2010

The Supreme Court has rejected a plea for a retrial for Aum Shinrikyo founder Shoko Asahara, who is on death row for masterminding the 1995 deadly sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system as well as other crimes, sources said Wednesday.

The top court's first petty bench reached the decision Monday over the petition filed by Asahara's 29-year-old second daughter in November 2008, the sources said. Asahara's real name is Chizuo Matsumoto.

The daughter argued that Asahara, 55, deserves a retrial because during the trial of a former senior member of the cult, the defendant disavowed his earlier testimony that Asahara had ordered him to produce sarin, stating instead that a senior member of the group, who has since died, was responsible for the sarin attack.

Asahara was sentenced to death in February 2004 over the gas attack and 12 other cases.

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