Sarin attack suspect turned away by police

Jan. 4, 2012 at 9:38 AM
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TOKYO, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- A Tokyo police officer says he ignored Makato Hirata's attempt to surrender Saturday on charges related to a 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway.

The officer said he thought it was a prank, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported Wednesday.

Hirata 46, wanted on murder and kidnapping charges as a senior member of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult responsible for the nerve gas attack that killed at least 13 people, was told to go to another police station after he presented himself to a riot police officer Saturday night at the Metropolitan Police Department, the newspaper said.

"I'm Hirata. I'm turning myself in," Tokyo police quoted the man telling the officer at the main entrance of the police headquarters.

The officer told Hirata to go to the Marunouchi Police Station, located about half a mile away.

The newspaper said Hirata tried to convince the officer he was who he claimed to be by saying he was on a special wanted list. When it appeared the officer was ignoring him, Hirata went down the street to the other police station, where he was arrested, police said.

The police officer said Hirata looked different from his wanted photo. "I thought it was a joke," he said.

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