Senior Aum Shinrikyo figure Masahiro Tominaga was sentenced to 18 years in prison Thursday for trying to kill an anticult lawyer with sarin gas in 1994, sending an injurious letter bomb to Tokyo’s governor and planting cyanide gas in Shinjuku Station.

Although Tominaga, 30, a former doctor who was once part of Aum’s so-called household agency, owned up to the charges in June 1996 during his first trial hearing, he insisted he should not be held liable because his mind was under the control of cult founder Shoko Asahara and he was unable to judge right from wrong.

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