A woman on Monday denied murdering her husband in 2011 with the help of her son, a former doctor who has been indicted for allegedly taking part in the consensual killing of a terminally ill woman.

Junko Yamamoto, 78, told the Kyoto District Court that she "did not kill" her husband, Yasushi, with the help of their son, Naoki, 45, and 44-year-old doctor Yoshikazu Okubo, his acquaintance.

According to the indictment, the three allegedly had Yasushi Yamamoto, then 77, discharged on March 5, 2011, from a hospital in Nagano Prefecture where he had been undergoing treatment for a mental disorder.

It is alleged he was taken to an apartment in Tokyo and murdered later that day by unknown means.

According to her lawyer, Junko Yamamoto said she did not know how her husband died and questioned whether the incident amounted to a murder.

But prosecutors contend Junko Yamamoto conspired with her son and Okubo to murder her husband because he was considered burdensome due to his mental illness. They stressed that Yasushi Yamamoto was not in a condition where he was expected to die immediately after leaving the hospital.

Naoki Yamamoto was sentenced last Tuesday to 13 years in prison after being found guilty of murdering his father.

The incident came to light after Naoki Yamamoto and Okubo were indicted in 2020 for allegedly consensually giving a 51-year-old female sufferer of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, a lethal dose of a sedative at her home in Kyoto in November 2019.

Euthanasia is not legally recognized in Japan.

The case involving the woman's death is ongoing and Naoki Yamamoto and Okubo will be tried separately, with no trial dates yet confirmed.