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2 sentenced to die for Japan subway attack

SHARE 2 sentenced to die for Japan subway attack

TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese court gave two former leaders of a doomsday cult death sentences Monday for spraying nerve gas in a deadly 1995 attack on the Tokyo subways.

Toru Toyoda, 32, and Kenichi Hirose, 36, were accused of taking a direct role in the morning rush-hour assault, which killed 12 people and sickened thousands of others, the Tokyo District Court said.

The two were members of the Aum Shinri Kyo cult. The cult's former guru, Shoko Asahara, is on trial for masterminding the subway attack and other crimes, including an earlier nerve gas attack in central Japan.

Shigeo Sugimoto, 41, who worked as a driver for the cult, was sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the subway attack.

The three admitted to their crimes but argued during their trial that they had been brainwashed by Asahara, Kyodo News agency reported.

Two other cultists convicted of taking a direct role in the 1995 attack, Masato Yokoyama and Yasuo Hayashi, have also been sentenced to die.