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Police suspect last remaining Aum fugitive lived near Tokyo until Dec.

| (with photo) TOKYO, June 5 (KUNA) -- The last remaining fugitive from the 1995 sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway system, Katsuya Takahashi, likely lived in an apartment in Kawasaki, southwest of Tokyo, until the end of last year under the false name, Kyodo News Agency reported Tuesday, citing "investigative sources." Police will search the apartment for evidence soon while they continue to question former Aum cult member Naoko Kikuchi, 40, who was arrested Sunday over the deadly Tokyo attack after being on the run for the past 17 years, and her 41-year-old cohabitant who was also arrested Monday on suspicion of harboring Kikuchi, the report said.

The 54-year-old Takahashi moved into the apartment in Kawasaki in around 2002 by falsifying his identity, stayed there with Kikuchi until around 2006 and is believed to have lived until December, even after Kikuchi left, the report said. Kikuchi and Takahashi are alleged to have conspired with Aum founder Shoko Asahara in the coordinated attacks at Tokyo subway stations on March 20, 1995, which killed 13 and sickened more than 6,000 people -- Japan's worst ever mass-murder. Tokyo police said Kikuchi has admitted to involvement in production of deadly sarin gas which is believed to have been used in the subway attack, though she says she did not know what it was she was making.

Asahara, 57 and a number of his followers are on death row for committing a series of crimes including the 1995 gas attack.

Sarin was used by former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in a 1988 chemical weapons attack against Kurds in northern Iraq. (end) mk.rk KUNA 051153 Jun 12NNNN

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Publication:Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Jun 5, 2012
Words:287
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