Ex-AUM member Endo apologizes to sarin attack victims

Kyodo/September 11, 2001

Tokyo -- Seiichi Endo, a former senior member of the AUM Shinrikyo cult, broke his silence Tuesday about the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin gas attack he is accused of helping mastermind, and apologized to the victims during his trial at the Tokyo District Court.

Endo, 41, told the court, ''It is true that sarin (gas) our people produced was used in the subway attack. I feel sorry for the victims and the victims' families.''

Endo had previously refused to testify about the attack in his trial or when appearing as a witness at hearings of other indicted AUM members.

He admitted he was involved in manufacturing the sarin at the order of cult founder Shoko Asahara, 46, and Hideo Murai, a senior AUM member who is now dead.

''Defendant Tomomasa Nakagawa, defendant Masami Tsuchiya and I produced (sarin),'' Endo said.

Nakagawa, Tsuchiya as well as Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, have all been indicted along with Endo on charges related to the sarin attack on the subway system.

The Tokyo subway gassing March 20, 1995, left 12 people dead and more than 5,000 people injured.

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