Chronology of AUM Shinrikyo developments

BBC News/April 24, 2003


  • Tokyo, April 24
    The following is a chronology of developments either involving or allegedly linked to AUM Shinrikyo cult founder Shoko Asahara.
  • February 1984
    Shoko Asahara forms AUM Shinse n no Kai, a predecessor to AUM Shinrikyo, to which it was renamed in July 1987.
  • November 4, 1989
    Tsutsumi Sakamoto, a lawyer helping people with complaints against the group, is killed along with his wife and 1-year-old son.
  • February 1990
    Asahara and 24 other AUM members run in a lower house election, in which all of them lost.
  • June 27, 1994
    Fatal sarin nerve gas released in a residential district in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture.
  • March 20, 1995
    Sarin gas released on Tokyo subway trains.
  • May 16, 1995
    Asahara arrested in connection with the subway gassing.
  • April 24, 1996
    Asahara goes on trial, failing to enter plea.
  • April 24, 1997
    Asahara pleads not guilty, except for a VX nerve gas attack on a man.
  • December 2, 1997
    Prosecutors reduce the number of injuries in the indictment on the subway attack to speed up court deliberations.
  • December 27, 1999
    A law aimed at monitoring AUM goes into effect.
  • January 18, 2000
    AUM admits Asahara 's involvement for the first time. The group renames itself Aleph.
  • October 4, 2000
    Prosecutors drop four indictment cases out of 17.
  • March 13, 2003
    Asahara stays silent at his first questioning.
  • March 27, 2003
    Asahara keeps silent at second questioning.
  • April 10, 2003
    Asahara does not speak at third questioning. The examination of evidence wraps up.
  • April 24, 2003
    Prosecutors demand death sentence for Asahara.

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