Remarks by Aum cult founder in prison

Croak

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NHK has learned that the founder of the Aum Shinrikyo cult had suggested in prison that he conspired with his followers to carry out the sarin gas attack in Tokyo 20 years ago.

The cult was led by Shoko Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto. It carried out the attack on the capital's subway system on March 20th, 1995. Thirteen people died and about 6,300 were injured.

Matsumoto kept silent throughout his trials, refusing to say anything about the attacks. Courts judged him as the mastermind, and his death sentence was finalized in 2006.

But documents obtained by NHK show that Matsumoto made detailed claims to his lawyers.

Four months before his first trial, Matsumoto told the lawyers that he had tried to stop a follower from using sarin gas, two days before the attack. The follower had proposed it to disrupt a possible police investigation into the cult.

Matsumoto also said another follower told him that if nothing was done, the group would collapse. Matsumoto said he replied, "Then I leave it to you."

松本智津夫死刑囚の最近の様子ですが、どんな様子なのでしょうか。松本死刑囚が収容さ­れている東京拘置所前から報告です。 (社会部・原田悠生記者報告) 松本死刑囚は独居房にいて、その様子は職員らが常時、モニターを通して監視していると­いうことです。

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