Death sentence for cult member in 1994 and 1995 sarin gas attacks

A death sentence has been finalized by a former senior AUM Shinrikyo cult member who aided the group in two deadly sarin nerve gas attacks in 1994 and 1995.

Japan's Supreme Court rejected Tomomitsu Niimi's objection to its earlier ruling on his death sentence for his roles in 11 crimes that killed 26 people.

Niimi will become the tenth person to have his death sentence finalized as a result of a series of crimes by the cult, which also included the 1989 murder of a lawyer and his family.

Among those 10 is Shoko Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto and who is the founder of AUM.

The court found that Niimi was involved int he Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture sarin gas attack in 1994 that killed seven people and the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system in 1995 that killed 12 people. The reasons behind the group's sarin gas attacks have never been fully revealed.

Niimi was also found to have killed an anti-AUM lawyer, Tsutsumi Sakamoto, in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Sakamoto's wife and child in 1989.

Niimi was also found by the court to have killed four other people, including AUM members, between 1989 and 1994.

AUM has been designated by the European Union as a terrorist organization and is listed on the United States' list of foreign terrorist groups.