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Japan sentences Aum cultist to 9 years in prison

Published on Mar 7, 2014 8:32 PM
 
A former member of the Aum Supreme Truth was sentenced to nine years in prison for abduction on Friday, March 7, 2014, 19 years after the doomsday cult launched a nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway, court officials said. -- FILE PHOTO:  AFP/ TOKYO METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPT

TOKYO (AFP) - A former member of the Aum Supreme Truth was sentenced to nine years in prison for abduction on Friday, 19 years after the doomsday cult launched a nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway, court officials said.

The Tokyo District Court handed the jail term to Makoto Hirata, 48, who turned himself in at a police station two years ago after spending much of the last two decades on the run.

He was one of the final fugitives who went into hiding after the rush-hour release of sarin in March 1995 killed 13 people, sickened thousands and sowed panic among Tokyo's millions of subway commuters.

"The impact of his long term on the run on communities is not small," presiding judge Hiroaki Saito told the court, according to public broadcaster NHK.

 
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