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     Tokyo court convicts Red Army leader

    Latest News The Associated Press

    FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2006
    TOKYO A court here convicted and sentenced a founder of the Japanese Red Army terrorist group on Thursday to 20 years in prison for kidnapping and attempted murder in a 1974 attack on the French Embassy in The Hague, court officials said.
    The Tokyo District Court found Fusako Shigenobu, 60, guilty for her role in the attack, in ...



    which the French ambassador was taken hostage by militants, including members of the Red Army, who demanded the release of an imprisoned comrade.
    Prosecutors had sought a life sentence.
    The court spokesman, Tomoyuki Kushida, said Shigenobu was also found guilty of violating passport laws. Kushida refused to provide any other details of the ruling.
    Shigenobu was arrested in western Japan in November 2000 after more than 25 years on the run, most of it in the Middle East. She had pleaded not guilty to the kidnapping and murder charges, saying she was not at the scene.
    But Judge Hironobu Murakami said Shigenobu conspired with three fellow Red Army members in the attack in The Hague and played a key role by obtaining weapons, the public broadcaster NHK reported.
    The judge said Shigenobu deserved the prison term because she had jeopardized the lives of many people who had nothing to do with her beliefs and opinions, NHK and Kyodo news agency reported.
    The Japanese Red Army, a violent leftist group sympathetic to Palestinian causes, was formed in 1971 by Shigenobu and Tsuyoshi Okudaira. It took responsibility for several international attacks in the 1970s, including the takeover of the U.S. Consulate in Kuala Lumpur in 1975.
    The National Police Agency said seven other members of the group, including Okudaira's younger brother, Junzo, are still on the run.




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