• Kyodo


Defense lawyers for Masumi Hayashi, who was sentenced to death for lacing curry with poison in the city of Wakayama in 1998, will reassert her claim of innocence, saying there were mistakes made in assessments of the evidence in the first ruling, sources close to the case said Saturday.

The lawyers will make the claim in an appeal they are preparing to submit to the Osaka High Court at the end of October at the earliest, according to the sources.

The Wakayama District Court last December sentenced Hayashi to death for killing four people, including two children, and poisoning 63 others by lacing a curry stew with arsenic. She has appealed the ruling to the high court.

In the appeal, the lawyers are expected to claim that mistakes were made in assessments of evidence, including in testimony that Hayashi was on her own for a period while looking after the pot in which the curry was being cooked, the sources said.

The lawyers are also expected to claim that the arsenic found in the curry pot was wrongly linked with arsenic found at Hayashi’s home, they said.

The lawyers will also claim there were violations in legal procedures on the part of the district court for using as evidence a videotape of a television interview of Hayashi, 42, and her 58-year-old husband, Kenji, who is currently serving a six-year term for insurance fraud.

Hayashi’s lawyers indicated that they expect her appeals trial to start next spring.

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