Death sentence upheld

TOKYO: The Tokyo High Court on Friday upheld the death sentence passed on to a former senior member of the cult Aum Shinrikyo for making sarin used in the 1995 Tokyo subway nerve gas attack. The court rejected Masami Tsuchiya's appeal against a lower court ruling in January 2004 which sentenced him to hang. ``The Aum-related crimes, such as the sarin gas attack, could not have taken place without him, and he was at the centre of the crimes,'' Kyodo News quoted presiding Judge Yu Shiraki as saying. ``The crimes were vicious and cruel, and there is no choice but to give him the death penalty in light of the feelings of the victims and the impact that they had on society,'' Judge Shiraki said. The 41-year-old Tsuchiya was in a doctoral programme in chemistry at a University when he became a live-in member of the cult. Xinhua

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