Aum leader given 10-yr term for murder

Yomiuri Shimbun/March 26, 2002

Shinichi Koshikawa, a former leader of the Aum Supreme Truth cult, was sentenced Monday by the Tokyo District Court to 10 years' imprisonment for three offenses, including the murder of a former member.

According to the ruling, Koshikawa, 37, killed 29-year-old Kotaro Ochida, in conspiracy with Aum founder Shoko Asahara, 47, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, and others at the cult's defunct facility in Kamikuishikimura, Yamanashi Prefecture, in January 1994. Ochida reportedly had begun to question the cult's activities.

Presiding Judge Hisaharu Yasui said in the ruling, "The defendant played a key role, such as holding the resisting victim, and he hasn't reflected on what he did at all." The prosecutors had demanded a 12-year prison term for the defendant.

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