RealNews

Tokyo Doomsday Cult Leader to Face Trial

As guru of a doomsday cult, Shoko Asahara looked and sounded the part. Almost blind, his black beard flowing onto his chest, he claimed he could levitate, see into people’s past lives and foretell the apocalypse. On Friday, a Japanese court will decide whether he also commanded his disciples to murder, most terrifyingly in the 1995 sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway that killed 12 people, sickened thousands and alerted the world to the threat of terrorism by mass slaughter. Asahara faces the gallows if convicted of masterminding the subway deaths and 15 others, though he has the right to appeal. He also faces charges of attempted murder, kidnapping and illegal weapons production. The closing of his trial is forcing Japan to revisit a horrifying moment in its modern history. Full Story

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