Inquest Panel Demands Fresh Probe on Record Tampering

Society

Osaka, March 29 (Jiji Press)--An Osaka prosecution inquest panel has determined that it was unjust that prosecutors did not indict Finance Ministry personnel over the manipulation of official records related to a controversial sale of state land, demanding a fresh investigation into the case.

The panel's conclusion, reached on March 15, will force the Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office to investigate the case again and decide whether to indict those involved.

If it decides, again, not to bring charges against them, there will not be another round of review by an inquest panel and the case will be closed.

A series of problems related to the sale of the government-owned plot in Toyonaka, Osaka Prefecture, western Japan, has come to light since February 2017, including the acquisition by private school operator Moritomo Gakuen at a discount of some 800 million yen. Moritomo Gakuen was once linked to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's wife, Akie.

The inquest panel concluded that the content of some records on the land deal drawn up by the ministry and its Kinki Local Finance Bureau can be deemed to have been altered as a result of substantial deletions.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press