Hearings Of Case Of Russian Aum Shinrikyo Disciples Continue In Primorye

Hearings of the criminal case of Russian Aum Shinrikyo disciples are continuing in the Primorye regional court on Thursday. Dmitry Sigachev, Boris Tupeiko, Dmitry Voronov and Alexander Shevchenko are in the dock. They are accused of terrorism, smuggling, illegal possession of weapons and manufacture of explosive devices. The Primorye Federal Security Service officials were investigating the case. They arrested three suspects in July 2000 and the forth extremist in July 2001. The court was presented evidence of the extremists' intention to demand from the Japanese government the release from custody of Shoko Asahara, the leader of the sect which organised a gas attack in the Tokyo metro in March 1995. The Russian disciples of Shoko Asahara were preparing hostage-taking and a series of terrorist acts in Tokyo, Sapporo and Aomori if the Japanese government refused to fulfil their ultimatum demands.