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Report: Former Japanese Cult Leader Files Death-Sentence Appeal

Defense lawyers for a former doomsday cult leader, sentenced to death for masterminding the 1995 Tokyo subway gassing, filed a special appeal against his death sentence with Japan's top court on Monday, a news report said.Shoko Asahara was convicted in 2004 and sentenced to hang for masterminding the Tokyo assault, in which members of the cult released deadly sarin gas on trains converging on the city's government district, killing 12 and sending thousands to hospitals.Asahara's lawyers filed a special appeal against Asahara's death sentence with the Supreme Court on Monday after the Tokyo High Court threw out a similar appeal in March, saying Asahara was mentally fit to stand trial, according to Kyodo News agency.CountryWatch: JapanAsahara's lawyers argue that the former guru suffers from pathological mental stress caused by confinement and is unfit for trial. The lawyers could not be reached late Monday to confirm the report.The nearly blind former leader, who once commanded a powerf...

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