Japanese Red Army founder appeals 20-year prison sentence

A founder of the Japanese Red Army terrorist group has appealed a 20-year prison sentence for her role in a 1974 attack on the French Embassy in The Hague, her lawyers said Monday.

The Tokyo District Court last month found Fusako Shigenobu, 60, guilty of kidnapping and confinement, as well as attempted murder in the 1974 case, ordering her to 20 years in prison with forced labor. Shigenou was also convicted of passport law violations.

Lawyer Akio Koto said Shigenobu's defense team submitted the appeal earlier Monday.

Shigenobu had pleaded innocent to the kidnapping and murder charges, saying she was not present during the attack.

She was arrested in western Japan in November 2000 after more than 25 years on the run, most of it in the Middle East.

Shigenobu co-founded the Japanese Red Army, a violent ultra-leftist group sympathetic to Palestinian causes, in 1971. It took responsibility for several international attacks in the 1970s, including the takeover of the U.S. Consulate in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1975.

The group is also suspected in a 1972 machine-gun and grenade assault on the international airport outside Tel Aviv, Israel, that killed 24 people, reports the AP.


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