Naoko Kikuchi

Ex-Aum cult fugitive cleared of 1995 bomb attack on Tokyo government

November 27, 2015

By AYA SHIOIRI/ Staff Writer

The Tokyo High Court on Nov. 27 found former Aum Shinrikyo fugitive Naoko Kikuchi not guilty of the 1995 parcel bomb attack on the Tokyo metropolitan government building, overturning a lower court ruling.

Kikuchi, 43, was declared innocent after the Tokyo District Court convicted her in June last year of aiding in the plot by serving as a courier for explosive materials. She was sentenced to five years in prison.

The lower court said she was "aware of the possibility of the chemicals being used to kill and injure people."

In her appeal to the high court, Kikuchi's defense team argued that she was not in a position to know the danger of the chemicals since "no explanation was given to her before being asked to transport them."

Kikuchi was arrested in 2012 in Kanagawa Prefecture after being on the run for 17 years. She had been on the nation's wanted list.

According to the indictment, Kikuchi delivered the materials from the doomsday cult’s facility in Yamanashi Prefecture to its hideout in Tokyo five times to aid in the production of the parcel bomb.

The explosive, sent to Tokyo Governor Yukio Aoshima by a high-ranking cult member, blew up in a room for the governor’s aides, seriously injuring an official in May 1995.

Aum Shinrikyo is known for its March 1995 sarin nerve gas attacks on Tokyo's subway system, which killed 13 people and sickened thousands.

By AYA SHIOIRI/ Staff Write

National / Crime & Legal

Prosecutors to appeal high court acquittal of Aum ex-fugitive in ’95 TMG parcel bombing

Prosecutors are arranging to appeal a high court ruling that found a female Aum Shinrikyo ex-fugitive not guilty of a 1995 parcel bombing at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building, sources close to the matter said Tuesday.

The Tokyo High Public Prosecutor’s Office is planning to bring the case involving Naoko Kikuchi to the Supreme Court, after making a final decision following talks with the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office to be held soon, the sources said.

In June last year, the Tokyo District Court sentenced Kikuchi to five years in prison for abetting attempted murder, finding she was aware of the possibility the chemical she took to the cult’s hideout would be used to kill or harm people.

But the Tokyo High Court overturned the decision on Nov. 27, saying the accounts given by a senior cult member that served as the basis of the ruling “cannot be trusted.”

Her lawyers argued that Kikuchi did not know the chemicals would be used to attack people throughout the hearings.

In May 1995, Aum members sent a parcel containing a bomb made with the chemicals to the metropolitan government head office, leaving a Tokyo government official seriously wounded from the explosion.

The bombing was aimed at disrupting a police investigation into the cult and preventing the arrest of Aum founder Shoko Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto.

Kikuchi was arrested in June 2012 after 17 years on the run.





 これに対し、11月27日の高裁判決は、被告が薬品について「直ちにテロの手段として用いられると想起することは困難」と指摘。一審判決で有罪の 根拠の一つとされた教団元幹部の井上嘉浩死刑囚(45)の証言の信用性も否定し、被告が教団のテロ計画を知っていたとは言えないとした。