A defense attorney has made public part of a tape recording of confessions made by Mr. Toshikazu Sugaya, who was released on the strength of a new DNA test in June after he had served 17 years of a life sentence for the 1990 murder of a 4-year-old girl in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture. A retrial of Mr. Sugaya in this case is to start Wednesday.

The taped interrogations also concern two other, unsolved cases in which a 5-year-old girl was killed in 1979 and another girl of the same age was killed in 1984. Prosecutors questioned Mr. Sugaya after his indictment in the Ashikaga case, and the recording shows that on Dec. 7, 1992, he denied his involvement in all three cases.

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