[JURIST] The Tokyo High Court on Friday upheld Masami Tsuchiya's death sentence, handed down in 2004 after Tsuchiya was convicted for leading a Japanese cult's development of Sarin nerve gas used in the 1995 Tokyo subway attack [MIPT backgrounder]. The Aum Shinrikyo [FAS backgrounder] attack killed 12 people and left thousands ill. Tsuchiya was sentenced to death [BBC report] in 2004, joining 11 other Aum Shinrikyo members, including founder Shoko Ashara [BBC profile; JURIST report], on death row for the attack. Tsuchiya had pleaded not guilty to each of the six charges, which included murder and attempted murder, and argued on appeal that the Sarin nerve gas used in the attacks had been manufactured by another group.
Tsuchiya has also been convicted for producing nerve gas that killed seven people during a 1994 attack in Matsumoto. AP has more. BBC News has additional coverage.