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Japan 'black widow' Chisako Kakehi retracts confession

Chisako Kakehi, pictured on 13 March 2014 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Chisako Kakehi, now 70, was arrested in 2014

A Japanese pensioner has said she does not remember admitting to a Kyoto court that she had poisoned her fourth husband.

Chisako Kakehi stands accused of killing three partners and attempting to murder a fourth.

Prosecutors say Ms Kakehi targeted the men for their money and poisoned them all with cyanide.

Her lawyers pleaded not guilty on her behalf, only for Ms Kakehi to seemingly admit killing her last partner.

Isao Kakehi, her fourth husband who she reportedly met via a match-making site, died on 28 December 2013, a month after they got married.

'Dementia'

On Monday, she appeared to confirm she had killed him, saying she committed crime because her husband was not treating her well financially, and that she had obtained the cyanide from a business associate.

But on Wednesday she told the court: "I don't remember (what I said)", according to the Mainichi daily newspaper.

Lawyers for Ms Kakehi had previously said her testimony could not be trusted, because she has mild dementia and "barely remembers things that happened recently".

Investigations into the wealthy widow began after a post-mortem examination was carried out on her fourth husband, revealing traces of cyanide in his body.

Ms Kakehi is on trial for murdering him and two other boyfriends, all aged between 70 and 80, and the attempted murder and robbery of another boyfriend - who later died of cancer - between 2007 and 2013.

Ms Kakehi's three other husbands also all died, but she has not been charged in connection with their deaths.

Some media have dubbed Ms Kakehi a "black widow" - a term derived from the female spider that eats its partner after mating.

In April another Japanese woman, Kanae Kajima, who was convicted of killing three lovers, lost a final appeal against her death sentence at the Supreme Court.

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