On Friday the Tokyo district court, after a case lasting eight years, delivered its verdict on Soko Asahara (real name Chizuo Matsumoto), head of the Aum-Shinrikyo religious sect. Asahara was found guilty of organizing acts of terrorism involving the use of chemicals in 1994 and 1995. As the result of those attacks, eighteen people died and over five thousand were injured. It’s though that Asahara may be given the death penalty.
In the late 1980s Aum-Shinrikyo arrived in Russia and the Ukraine. The sectÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s speeches were translated and broadcast in a number of languages over the Voice of Russia’s shortwave transmitters. The money received from Aum-Shinrikyo helped to subsidise the foreign service. In 1992 the Russian Justice Ministry registered the organization. According to the Russian General ProsecutorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s office there were more than 30 thousand salesmen in Aum-Shinrikyo. In March 1995 the General ProsecutorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s office laid criminal information against Aum-Shinrikyo, and broadcasts via Russian transmitters were promptly terminated.