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Monday, 2 March, 1998, 11:15 GMT
Japanese prosecutors recommend life for Aum cultist

Japanese prosecutors have asked for life imprisonment, rather than the death sentence, for one of the leading members of the cult which released nerve gas on a Tokyo train three years ago.

Prosecutors said the man, Ikuo Hayashi, -- who admitted murder -- ought to be spared the death penalty because he'd given himself up and cooperated with police inquiries.

Mr Hayashi, together with four other members of the Aum Supreme Truth Cult, released the nerve gas on the Tokyo underground -- killing twelve people, and injuring five thousand others.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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