Yokoyama Masato

Death sentence finalized for ex-Aum
member in subway sarin attack
Saturday, August 25, 2007 at 05:00 EDT

TOKYO — The Supreme Court has finalized the death sentence for former Aum Shinrikyo member Masato Yokoyama for his involvement in the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin gas attack, rejecting an objection raised by his defense about the court's earlier ruling, judicial sources said Friday.

Among the five Aum members indicted for perpetrating the deadly gas attack on the Tokyo subway system, Yokoyama, 43, was the first given a death sentence which has been confirmed. Twelve people were killed and more than 5,000 were injured in the attack. According to lower court rulings, Yokoyama conspired with other Aum members and released sarin gas in Tokyo subway trains on March 20, 1995. (Kyodo News)


Cultist loses final appeal, must hang for gas attack
The Japan Times: Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Associated Press
The Supreme Court upheld the death sentence against a doomsday cult member who played a direct role in the fatal 1995 gassing of the Tokyo subway system, a court official said Friday.

The top court rejected an appeal by Aum Shinrikyo member Masato Yokoyama, 43, upholding lower court rulings that he should hang, according to court official Naoki Katayama.

Yokoyama was charged with murder for his role in the March 1995 attack, in which cult followers punctured plastic bags of sarin gas on rush-hour subway trains, killing 12 people and sickening thousands.

But Yokoyama's defense lawyers had sought leniency, arguing that he sprayed the nerve gas on the Marunouchi subway line, which did not cause any fatalities.

Before the attack, the cult had amassed an arsenal of chemical, biological and conventional weapons in anticipation of an apocalyptic showdown with the government.

More than a dozen death sentences have been handed out to members of Aum Shinrikyo, but none of them have been executed under Japan's slow judicial system.

Aum guru Shoko Asahara is on death row for masterminding 27 killings, including those in the subway attack.

Yokoyama is the third Aum figure whose death sentence stands. Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, and cultist Kazuaki Okazaki are already on death row.

Aum once had 10,000 members in Japan and another 30,000 in Russia. Authorities say membership has shrunk to about 1,650 in Japan and 300 in Russia.


Top court lets death sentence stand for former AUM Shinriyko member

Friday, July 20, 2007 TOKYO — The Supreme Court on Friday let the death sentence stand for Masato Yokoyama, a former key member of the AUM Shinrikyo group who was involved in perpetrating the deadly sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system in 1995.

The court rejected an appeal by the 43-year-old defendant. He is the third AUM group member for whom the death sentence has been confirmed. (Kyodo News)