Appeal denied in 1995 sarin subway gas attack trial

An appeal of the death sentence for a senior member of the doomsday cult responsible for the deadly 1995 sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway has been rejected by Japan's supreme court.

As a result of the recent ruling, Tomomitsu Niimi, who has exhausted all of his legal appeals, will become the tenth member of the Aum Supreme Truth Cult to face execution.

Executions in Japan are only carried out in cases of multiple homicide.

Verdicts on appeals for three other cult members against their death sentences are still pending.

Niimi was convicted on 11 charges by two lower courts, all of which were upheld by the supreme court. The charges included the subway attack from 1995, which killed 12 people.

Niimi had argued that he was simply following orders from Aum leader Shoko Asahara, who Niimi still worships fifteen years after the attack.

Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto and who is revered as a god by his sect, is also on death row for the gas attack as well as other crimes.

Asahara mixed apocalyptic visions with a blend of Bhuddist and Hindu dogma and was known to be obsessed with the Nazi-invented sarin gas. He was also paranoid that his enemies would use the gas to attack him.