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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cultist Urges Surrender

TOKYO () -- The cult leader on trial for the Tokyo subway gas attack Wednesday urged sect members sought by the police to surrender and said his "Armageddon" prophecy was fulfilled by the assassination of Israel's Yitzhak Rabin.

Shoko Asahara made the surprise pronouncements at a hearing to determine if his Aum Shinri Kyo, or Supreme Truth sect, should be banned as a subversive organization.

At the hearing, Asahara presented arguments against disbanding the sect under a 1952 anti-subversion law, which has never been used to outlaw a group for fear it would violate constitutional freedoms of assembly and speech.

Since the March 1995 subway attack, in which 11 people died, the sect has been declared bankrupt.