Japan arrests fugitive over Tokyo metro gas attack

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Japan arrests fugitive over Tokyo metro gas attack

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A woman suspected of being involved in the 1995 gassing of the Tokyo subway that killed 13 people has been arrested, Japanese police said on Monday.

Naoko Kikuchi had been on the run for 17 years.

The 40-year-old lived under an assumed name and shared a house in Sagamihara, west of Tokyo, with a 41-year-old man.

The unnamed man stood by her even after she revealed her true identity. He has now been charged with harbouring a criminal.

Kikuchi belonged to Aum Shinrikyo, a spiritual group mixing Hindu and Buddhist beliefs that became a doomsday cult obsessed with Armageddon.

Her arrest leaves only one person, Katsuya Takahashi, 54, still on the police wanted list in relation to the attack.

On March 20 1995, Aum Shinrikyo members released sarin gas into the metro system during rush hour.

Prosecutors say the group wanted to disrupt a planned police crackdown on its activities.

Some 200 Aum Shinrikyo supporters have been convicted in connection with the attack.

Thirteen, including its former leader Shoko Asahara, are on death row awaiting execution.