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Former Aum Shinrikyo fugitive Yasuo Hayashi admitted in court June 26 that he released nerve gas in a Tokyo subway car in March 1995, saying he could not refuse orders he believed were issued by cult founder Shoko Asahara.

Hayashi, 39, admitted in the first session of his trial at the Tokyo District Court that he was also involved in the deadly June 1994 sarin attack in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, and the foiled May 1995 cyanide gas attack at Shinjuku Station in Tokyo. He said he helped manufacture a device used to release sarin in a Matsumoto neighborhood, but claimed he was unaware beforehand that the device was to be used for the attack.

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