Expert testifies on Aum head-twisting


Japan Times, July 22, 1999

A Teikyo University medical professor testified Thursday at the Tokyo District Court on the death of Aum Shinrikyo follower Shuji Taguchi, who died in an alleged lynching in February 1989.

During cult founder Shoko Asahara's 127th trial session, professor Ikuo Ishiyama said wrenching the head and neck of a person, even with bare hands, could be lethal because of fractures and injuries the motion inflicts on the spine and nerves.

Taguchi, 21, was allegedly killed at Aum's headquarters in Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture, by several cult followers because he was trying to escape from the cult.

Taguchi was said to have fallen down and ceased all resistance to his attackers after Tomomitsu Niimi, a key cult member, wrenched Taguchi's head with his hands.

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