[IWAR] JAPAN gas attack sentence

From: 7Pillars Partners (partnersat_private)
Date: Mon Mar 02 1998 - 09:26:18 PST

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    Monday March 2 8:17 AM PST 
    Aum's Dr. Hayashi faces life term for sarin attack
       Prosecutors Monday demanded that Dr. Ikuo Hayashi, one of five Aum
       Shinrikyo figures accused of releasing nerve gas on the Tokyo subway
       system in March 1995, be sentenced to life in prison.
       The March 20 attack killed 12 and injured some 3,800. The recommended
       punishment for Hayashi -- the first defendant facing sentencing for
       directly carrying out the sarin attack -- is expected to affect the fate
       of other 13 cultists accused of taking part in gas attacks allegedly
       ordered by Aum founder Shoko Asahara, who is still on trial.
       Prosecutors judged that Hayashi does not deserve the death penalty
       because he readily confessed to the attack and has been repentant since
       his April 1995 arrest. At the Tokyo District Court, prosecutors
       castigated Hayashi for his liability in the "indiscriminate mass
       "In terms of his criminal liability, capital punishment would be
       appropriate for the defendant," they said in a statement read before the
       court. "As a doctor, he must have known thoroughly about the deadly
       effects of the gas and the importance of human life. The defendant
       instead used such knowledge for the crimes," the statement said.
       "However, we hesitate to demand the death penalty," it continued. "We
       regard the defendant's confession about the gassing as his surrender in
       this case."
       Hayashi's confession, which came before the connection between the cult
       and the gas attack had been thoroughly established, expedited the police
       probe and significantly helped investigators grasp the whole picture of
       the cult, they told the court. Hayashi, 51, the cult's one-time chief
       doctor, was arrested in April 1995 for harboring a cult fugitive. On May
       6, 1995, he suddenly told an investigator he was one of those who spread
       the nerve gas on the subway.
       Prosecutors also said he has expressed to survivors and victims'
       families his "sincere and deep remorse" over his acts. Hayashi has
       testified as a witness in court hearings for 21 other former Aum
       defendants, at which he detailed his role in the gassing and urged them
       to tell the truth.
       For Monday's session, Hayashi arrived at the Tokyo District Court at
       10:02 a.m., his eyes swollen and teary. He wiped his eyes for about two
       minutes before gaining his composure, while prosecutors and his lawyer
       exchanged additional evidence with the judges.
       At 10:05 a.m., he stood on the witness stand to undergo his last session
       of questioning by his lawyer.
       Hayashi said he has read "Underground" -- accounts of the Tokyo gas
       attack survivors and the relatives of the deceased, written by
       best-selling author Haruki Murakami -- three times. As his lawyer asked
       what made him read the book repeatedly, he said, "Who else should read
       that book if I don't?"

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