Life Space cult leader gets lighter sentence for murder

Kyodo News/June 27, 2003

Tokyo -- The Tokyo High Court on Thursday overturned a 15-year prison term handed down by a lower court against a cult group leader who murdered a 66-year-old sick man in 1999, giving him a seven-year term instead.

Presiding Judge Masaru Suda said in the ruling that Koji Takahashi, 64, leader of the Life Space Group, had not initially intended to kill Shinichi Kobayashi, a former company employee from Hyogo Prefecture.

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