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Tokyo sarin attack: Japan executes cult leader Shoko Asahara

Shoko Asahara, Tokyo, Shoko, Asahara, Sarin Attack

Shoko Asahara, the leader of the doomsday cult which carried out a fatal nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway in March 1995, has been executed, Japanese officials confirmed on Friday.

Cult leader Shoko Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, had been in prison for 22 years before he was executed this week, reported CNN.

It should be noted that the sarin attack claimed the lives of 13 people and wounded thousands more.

Meanwhile, six other senior cult members have also been executed.

According to the report, Asahara was one of seven members of the cult hanged this week.

The others were Tomomasa Nakagawa, Tomomitsu Niimi, Kiyohide Hayakawa, Yoshihiro Inoue, Seiichi Endo and Masami Tsuchiya, according to Japanese Justice Minister Yoko Kawakami.

The death penalty for the guru of the now-disbanded cult was first handed in February 2004 before it was finalized by the Supreme Court in September 2006, as per the reports.

Furthermore, Shoko Asahara and his followers were also accused of several other murders and an earlier sarin gas attack in 1994 which killed eight and left 600 injured.

The cult, at its peak, had at least 10,000 members in Japan and overseas, including highly literate scientists, engineers graduates of some of Japan’s most elite universities. His elitist followers aided in amassing huge amounts of money for the cult’s coffers.

For those unversed, executions in Japan are carried out stealthily, with no advance intimation given to the prisoner, their family or legal representatives for that matter.

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