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Wednesday, December 9, 1998 Published at 07:51 GMT


World: Asia-Pacific

Curry poison murder charges



Japanese police have charged a woman with murder and attempted murder after a mass poisoning at a festival.


BBC Tokyo Correspondent Juliet Hindell: "Suspicion soon fell on local housewife"
Four people died and 63 fell ill after a curry was laced with arsenic at Wakayama in western Japan in July.

Former insurance saleswoman Masumi Hayashi, 37, was one of the volunteers who prepared the curry.

Detectives found she was left alone with the curry for 15 minutes and that her husband once ran a fumigation business giving him access to poisons.

Mrs Hayashi was initially arrested with her husband, Kenji Hayashi, two months ago on separate poisoning charges.

She was suspected of poisoning friends at dinner parties to claim on health insurance policies she had taken out.

Police say Mrs Hayashi has denied the charges.



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