Tokyo gas attack suspect questioned by police | News | DW | 04.06.2012
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Tokyo gas attack suspect questioned by police

Seventeen years after a gas attack on the Tokyo subway that killed 13 people, police are questioning a suspect. The woman says she no longer believes in the teachings of the cult that carried out the attack.

Police on Monday said they were holding Naoko Kikuchi on suspicion of murder after arresting her in the city of Sagamihara, west of Tokyo.

The 40-year-old woman is reported to have been one of only two member of the Aum Supreme Truth doomsday cult still at large 17 years after the attack. She is accused of being part of the team that was responsible for producing the gas used in the subway attack.

"It is true that I was involved in producing sarin gas, but I did not know what we were making at that time," she was quoted as telling police.

Japanese media reported that during her years as a fugitive, the woman had lived under an assumed name and no longer believed the teachings of the cult.

"I will tell you everything. I am sorry for running away for a long time," the Jiji news agency quoted her as telling the police.

The cult's leader, Shoko Asahara, was arrested at a commune near Mount Fiji two months after the attack. He was convicted of crimes resulting in 13 deaths and sentenced to death by hanging. Twelve of his followers have also been sentenced to death for these and other crimes, but neither Asahara nor any of the others has been executed.

pfd/ncy (AFP, dpa)