A former senior member of the Aum Shinrikyo cult was released from a central Japan prison Tuesday, having served a nine-year term for his involvement in three cases related to the group, people familiar with the situation said.

Makoto Hirata, 57, turned himself in to police in 2011 after nearly 17 years on the run. In 2014, he was given the nine-year jail term for his involvement in the abduction and confinement of a Tokyo notary clerk as well as the bombing of a condominium and the firebombing of an Aum facility in the capital in 1995.

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