Sep 19, 2017

Ex-AUM doctor helps with Malaysia's probe into Kim Jong Nam assassination

The Mainichi
September 14, 2017

A former doctor of the AUM Shinrikyo doomsday cult has provided articles he wrote to the Malaysian government in cooperation with its investigation into the deadly VX nerve agent attack on the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, it has been learned.

Tomomasa Nakagawa, 54, a former AUM Shinrikyo executive who was sentenced to death for murder using VX nerve agent and other charges, received an inquiry about VX poisoning from the counterterrorism unit of the Malaysian government and sent his articles he had contributed to the Japanese monthly journal "Chemistry Today," according to Colorado State University professor emeritus Anthony Tu.

According to Tu, an 87-year-old leading toxicologist originally from Taiwan, Nakagawa received written inquiries from the Malaysian government via a United Nations organization sometime after April. The Malaysian government has been investigating the broad-daylight murder of Kim Jong Nam, half-brother of the North Korean leader, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in February.

During a meeting with Tu on Sept. 11 at Tokyo Detention Center, Nakagawa confessed his aspirations to write a report in English focusing on AUM Shinrikyo crimes using VX nerve agent, which the former cultist was involved in. Tu has interviewed Nakagawa since 2011 for counterterrorism purposes, and the latest meeting was the 12th of its kind. Tu has also cooperated with Japanese police in its investigation into the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system and other crimes perpetrated by AUM Shinrikyo.

In February, Nakagawa sent a letter to Tu suggesting that VX agent may have been used in the slaying of Kim Jong Nam -- even before Malaysian law enforcers disclosed that the agent was detected in his body.

Tu says Nakagawa, being a former doctor, is versed in chemistry and the professor would like to consider the way to handle the report on VX agent Nakagawa is going to put together after reading the content.

The AUM Shinrikyo cult was behind three murder and attempted murder cases using VX agent in Japan between 1994 and 1995. According to Japanese public security officials, the three cases and the Kim Jong Nam assassination are the world's only known cases of VX use in attacks on humans. Nakagawa was involved in all three cases in Japan, treating cult members who were poisoned by the agent after attacking victims. Nakagawa himself also survived VX poisoning after he mistakenly got agent on his hand and received an antidote injection.

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