Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Aum Sect Member Charged

A senior member of the Russian branch of the Japanese doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo was charged Monday, Interfax reported.


Outi Tosiyasu, a Japanese citizen, was charged with "organizing groups that infringed on Russians' rights and with causing material damage by cheating or by breach of confidence," a source at the Moscow Prosecutor's Office told Interfax. He was released after he gave a written undertaking not to leave Moscow.


Tosiyasu was detained by Moscow police July 21 for ignoring a ban on the group's activities in Russia, and put under arrest for 10 days.


Aum Shinrikyo claims 10,000 members in Japan and 30,000 in Russia. The cult is suspected in the deadly nerve-gas attack on Tokyo's subways in March that killed 12 and left more than 5,000 people injured.


Most of the sect's leaders in Japan are in custody for the gas attack. Shoko Asahara, its overall leader, and half a dozen of his top lieutenants were charged with murder and attempted murder in early June.


Authorities said Asahara, the bearded, partially blind guru of the sect, masterminded the Tokyo subway attack. He maintains his innocence but has been implicated by key followers.


Experts say the Japanese case could take decades to go through the courts.


Charges in Russia against Tosiyasu are part of a broader move by the Prosecutor General's Office to clamp down on the organizers of Aum Shinrikyo's Moscow branch.