Japan indicts final gas attack fugitive
Japanese prosecutors charged Katsuya Takahashi, a former member of the Aum Supreme Truth cult, with murder and additional crimes. Takahashi was captured on June 15 and indicted on Friday, AAP and Jiji Press report.
A high-profile manhunt occurred in and around Tokyo in early June after Naoko Kikuchi, another ex-member of the cult, was arrested. Kikuchi and Takahashi avoided police capture for more than 17 years since the 1995 incident.
The release of toxic sarin on Tokyo's underground system was a part of the cult's doomsday vision created by Shoko Asahara, the cult's guru. Asahara, a partly blind leader, preached a mix of Hindu and Buddhist dogma combined with apocalyptic messages. Asahara was obsessed with sarin gas and was paranoid that he would be attacked with it himself. Asahara was arrested at a Mount Fuji-area commune two months after the attack. He was sentenced to death and remains on death row with 12 other members of the cult.
Takahashi was a one-time guard for Asahara and allegedly served as a driver when the cult released the gas into the subway system.