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Supreme Court bans Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult in Russia

September 20, 2016, 12:46 UTC+3
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MOSCOW, September 20. /TASS/. Russia’s Supreme Court has banned the activity of the Aum Shinrikyo international religious group in the country, a TASS correspondent reported on Tuesday.

"The court ruled to satisfy the claim of Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office and to recognize Aum Shinrikyo as a terrorist organization, banning its activity on the territory of Russia," the judge said.

The court session was held behind the closed doors. The judge announced only the resolutive part of the decision.

Aum Shinrikyo was founded by Japanese national Shoko Asahara in 1987 and made global headlines in 1995 when its followers sprayed the lethal nerve gas sarin on five trains of Tokyo metro. The terrorist act claimed the lives of thirteen people. In September 1999, the Japanese Public Security Investigation Agency said Asahara had admitted the fact of the terrorist act with the use of sarin. A court found him guilty in 2004 of thirteen out of the seventeen charges and sentenced him to death.

Russia’s Investigative Committee opened a criminal case this April over setting up of the group, the activity of which involved violence against people and infliction of damage to their health. The investigators said unidentified persons had set up a union of followers of the Aum Shinrikyo group in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Between 2012 and 2014, the group raised money via Internet to carry out its illegal activity that involved "violence against citizens and injury to their health," the investigators said.

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