Aum victims want Asahara to hang

Japan Times, October 21, 1999

Two victims of chemical gas attacks allegedly carried out in 1994 and 1995 by Aum Shinrikyo followers said Thursday that cult founder Shoko Asahara, who stands accused of ordering the attacks, should be sentenced to death.

Taking the witness stand during the 134th session of Asahara's trial, Noboru Mizuno and Hiroyuki Nagaoka told the Tokyo District Court how they suffered after they were each attacked on separate occasions with deadly VX gas outside their Tokyo homes.

Both Mizuno and Nagaoka were allegedly targeted by Aum because they were protecting former members of the cult. Nagaoka is also the father of a former follower and was head of the Aum Shinrikyo Victim's Association.

"Speaking on behalf of the victim's association, I demand Asahara be sentenced to death," Nagaoka said.

Among the seven who were believed to have been involved in the VX gas attacks, former Aum member Yoshihiro Inoue has previously testified that the victims were seen as obstacles to the cult recruiting more followers.

The VX gas is believed to have been manufactured at cult facilities.

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