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Posted by Junichi Kawagoe on --.-- スポンサー広告

Unsolved shooting of NPA chief blamed on Aum

Posted by Junichi Kawagoe on 01.2010 News Out of English Newspaper   0 comments   0 trackback
Japan Times Top News Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Police released a report Tuesday blaming Aum Shinrikyo for the 1995 attempted assassination of the nation's top police officer, announcing unsubstantiated "findings" in the unsolved crime whose statute of limitations expired at midnight Monday.

"We have recognized that it was an organized, premeditated terror attack conducted by Aum Shinrikyo members under the will of death-row inmate Chizuo Matsumoto," said the report on the shooting of then National Police Agency chief Takaji Kunimatsu.

Police, however, didn't identify the cult shooter. Shortly after the attack, an Aum member on the police force confessed and was investigated, but charges against him and other cultists were never brought.

Matsumoto, more commonly known as Shoko Asahara, has been on death row for masterminding Aum's major crimes, including the 1995 sarin attack on the Tokyo subway system that left 13 dead and some 6,300 injured.

Goro Aoki, head of the public security department of the Metropolitan Police Department, said Tuesday that police were unable to build a case against any cultists due to lack of evidence but nonetheless concluded Aum was to blame.

The police turned their case over to prosecutors Tuesday without specifying any suspects in the shooting of Kunimatsu, who was seriously wounded outside his Tokyo home on March 30, 1995.

The police plan to post the results of the investigation on their Web site for 30 days starting Wednesday.

The rare announcement was met with criticism from experts and those involved in the case.

"I was surprised by the announcement," Kunimatsu said, adding he realized a decision had to be made in the case. "The investigation failed, as there was not enough evidence to pursue criminal charges."

Aoki repeatedly voiced regret at a press conference, but claimed, "there was no prejudice or prejudgment" of the case when asked if police had investigated solely on the assumption that Aum was behind the attack.

Explaining why the results of an investigation that failed to lead to criminal charges were released, Aoki said, "We thought we needed to give an explanation to the people, and it would serve the public interest."

Aum has renamed itself Aleph.

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