Akimoto, a member of the House of Representatives, who has been acquitted of bribery and the acquisition of witnesses in a corruption case involving the business of an IR / integrated resort facility, will be sentenced by the Tokyo District Court on the 7th.

The focus is on how the court will judge the relationship between the deputy minister in charge at the time and the contractor regarding the entry into the IR business promoted by the government.

Tsukasa Akimoto, a 49-year-old member of the House of Representatives who was the deputy minister of the Cabinet Office in charge of IR, was accused of bribery and tried the bribery side for receiving a total of about 7.6 million yen worth of bribes from Chinese companies. He has been accused of buying witnesses for trying to give him cash by asking him to give a false testimony.



The prosecution said, "Although he is the deputy minister in charge, he did not hesitate to accept bribes, and as soon as he was released on bail, he contacted the people involved in the case. As a result, he has been sentenced to five years in prison and a surcharge of approximately 7.6 million yen.



In response, Senator Akimoto said, "I have never acted just for one company. All the indictments cannot be caused by the political activities that I have carried out on a daily basis." Claims innocence.



It is the first time that a member of the Diet charged with a bribery case has received a trial decision since 2004, when Muneo Suzuki, the former Minister of State for the Hokkaido Regional Development Bureau.



The focus is on how the court will determine the relationship between the deputy minister in charge at the time and the contractor over entering the IR business, which the government has promoted as one of its growth strategies.



The judgment will be handed down at the Tokyo District Court at 10 am.

Background of the prosecution's investigation

A case in which a member of parliament, who was the deputy minister in charge, was indicted over the IR business promoted by the government.



The investigation by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor's Office was carried out in December.



The Special Investigation Department searched for related parties such as the office of Representative Akimoto in Koto-ku, Tokyo, on suspicion of violating the Foreign Exchange Law, alleging that a person related to a Chinese company had illegally brought in cash from overseas.



25 days, 6 days later.

Akimoto was arrested on suspicion of bribery on suspicion of receiving a bribe such as 3 million yen in cash from a Chinese company aiming to enter IR.



Prior to his arrest, Senator Akimoto left the Liberal Democratic Party to which he belonged.



In January of last year, he was re-arrested on suspicion of bribery for receiving bribes for travel expenses in Macau, and was subsequently charged with receiving bribes worth a total of about 7.6 million yen.



The following month, he was released on bail with a bail of 30 million yen, and at a press conference held two days later, he said, "I was also in charge of IR as a deputy minister of the Cabinet Office and visited the resort facility site. I haven't decided to do anything for this purpose. I have never received any criticized, cohesive relationships or bribes. I will insist on innocence in the trial, "he said. I did.



However, in August of last year, after bail, he was arrested again on suspicion of acquiring witnesses for trying to hand over cash after asking former advisers of a Chinese company on bail to give false testimony in court.



The crime of acquiring witnesses was newly established when the Organized Crimes Punishment Law was amended in 2017, and this was the first time that it was applied.



The Tokyo District Court decided to cancel the bail and confiscate the entire amount of the bail, judging that the evidence might be destroyed.



The trial began in March.



At the first trial, Senator Akimoto pleaded not guilty to all the charges, saying, "I have never met a Chinese company official and have not received any cash."



And in June, most of the witness cross-examinations were over.



Bail was granted by the court, and he left the Tokyo Detention House, where he had been detained for more than nine months, and resumed his activities as a member of the Diet.



As an incumbent member of parliament, I was sentenced on the 7th.

Prosecution's indictment

This is the content of the prosecution's indictment regarding Representative Akimoto.



[Burning]


First of all, it is a crime of bribery.


In return for facilitating the expansion of Chinese companies aiming to enter IR into Okinawa and Hokkaido, in September 2017, Chinese companies received a transfer of 2 million yen as a lecture fee for a symposium held in Naha City. In the same month, he received 3 million yen in cash at the office of the House of Representatives.


In addition, in December 2017, he was invited to travel to Shenzhen and Macau in China, and received a total of 1.82 million yen worth of profits, including travel expenses, accommodation fees, and tips for playing at the casino. is.


Furthermore, in February 2018, he was invited to travel with his family to Rusutsu-mura, Hokkaido through the former chairman of a tourism company in Sapporo, and received a profit equivalent to 760,000 yen including travel expenses and accommodation charges.



[Acquisition of witnesses]


Next, I am guilty of acquiring witnesses.


Through different collaborators, he asked two former advisers of a Chinese company on the bribery side to give false testimony at the trial, saying, "There was no Representative Akimoto when I handed over the cash." ..


At a hotel in Naha City last June, he tried to give 10 million yen in cash to a former adviser, and in July he tried to give 20 million yen in cash.


He also tried to give another former adviser 5 million yen in cash in Naha City last July.



* "Sen" means "river" instead of "soil"

Three issues

[1. Cash transfer at the Members'Office Building]


One of the issues is whether Representative Akimoto received a bribe of 3 million yen in cash from former advisors of a Chinese company at the Members' Office Building on September 28, 2017.



The House of Representatives broke up after noon on that day.


After leaving the venue for the luncheon with the supporters, the prosecution stopped by the office in the parliamentary hall and was handed over by two former advisers in the name of a sympathy while the former policy secretary was present. He claims to have received a bribe of 3 million yen and moved to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.


Regarding the visit at the parliamentary hall, the prosecution testified that the two former advisers had given a bribe of 3 million yen in cash at the trial of themselves and Akimoto, and the two mobile phones showing the amount of the bribe and the visit. It is said that it is well supported by exchanging messages over the phone.



In response, Representative Akimoto insisted that he did not stop at the Members' Office Building because he attended the regular general meeting of the parliamentary group he belonged to and received a courtesy call from the Japan Coast Guard Officer at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.


In addition, lawyers also did not have a record of walking during the time when they were alleged to have received a bribe in the walking record of Senator Akimoto's smartphone app, and the schedule table did not include a schedule of visits with former advisors. He argues that it is clear that he has not met his former advisers.




[2. Bribes such as entertainment] The


issue is whether or not the 2 million yen paid by the Chinese company as a lecture fee and the travel expenses to Macau and Hokkaido will be bribes.



Akimoto said, "I thought that the secretary was paying the travel expenses. I didn't recognize that the trip to Macau was an entertainment trip." Insisted that it was not.



On the other hand, the prosecution insists, "It is clear from the testimony of the people concerned that we recognized that we wanted to receive convenience in entering the IR business."




[3. Was there a witness acquisition?]


And the acquisition of witnesses, who are accused of bribery, is also a big issue.



The prosecution will hand over cash through a collaborator during bail to ask two former advisers to testify differently than they remember about the allegedly received bribe at the Members' Office Building. It is said that.



Regarding this, Senator Akimoto asked the accused, "I was angry because there were many things that I had not experienced in the affidavits of the people concerned. I thought I wouldn't violate the terms of the case, "he said, denying that he did not have the funds to buy the witnesses.

9 indicted in addition to Representative Akimoto 8 confirmed guilty

In a series of cases, nine people were indicted in addition to Senator Akimoto, of whom eight were already found guilty as accomplices to the bribery and the acquisition of witnesses.



In the case of bribery, the Tokyo District Court said to former adviser Masahiko Konno and former adviser Katsunori Nakazato of the Chinese company "500.com", "Providing a large amount of money and deepening the relationship with luxurious and explicit entertainment. I was often informed, "said former adviser Konno with a sentence of 2 years in prison and a suspended sentence of 3 years, and former adviser Nakazato with a sentence of 1 year and 10 months in prison and a suspended sentence of 3 years.



Former executive officer Chung Ki, a Japanese corporation of a Chinese company, has been sentenced to two years in prison and a three-year suspended sentence, saying that he has participated in the overall planning of bribery between the CEO of a Chinese company and a Japanese adviser.



In addition, former chairman Kimihito Kamori of Sapporo City's tourism company "Kamori Kanko", who was accused of bribery for paying for the trip to Hokkaido, said, "Accommodation in the finest guest rooms is perfect. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison and a suspended sentence of 2 years, saying, "I gave special treatment to myself and paid a certain amount of money because of the speculation of bribery."



In the witness acquisition case, all four trials accused of trying to hand over cash have ended.



The Tokyo District Court sentenced Akihito Awaji to a former company officer for one year and two months, suspended sentence for three years, and Fumihiko Sato for a company officer, saying that it was a malicious act of obstructing the judiciary that could significantly impair the execution of the trial in the case of bribery. He has been sentenced to 1 year in prison, 3 years suspended sentence, 1 year and 2 months imprisonment for the representative of Daisuke Matsuura consultant company, 3 years suspended sentence, and 1 year imprisonment and 3 years suspended sentence for former company officer Kazuhiro Miyatake.



Meanwhile, former policy secretary Akihiro Toyoshima, who has been accused of bribery with Representative Akimoto and is fighting for innocence, will also be sentenced on the 7th.


The prosecution is seeking two years in prison.

Civil rights suspension depending on the ruling

Representative Akimoto may be unemployed under the Public Offices Election Act, depending on the ruling.



If this trial concludes a prison sentence of imprisonment or higher, civil rights will be suspended and you will lose your job.



Even if you have a suspended sentence, if you are found guilty of bribery, your civil rights will be suspended and you will lose your job.



If you are found guilty of bribery, your civil rights will be suspended for the period until the end of the sentence and five years after imprisonment in the case of imprisonment.



For the next five years, you will be able to vote for elections, but you will not be eligible for election and you will not be able to run for election.



If a suspended sentence is found convicted, civil rights will be suspended during the suspended sentence.

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