Indicted Ex-Justice Min. Kawai Dismisses His Lawyers


Tokyo, Sept. 15 (Jiji Press)--Indicted former Japanese Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai dismissed all of his six defense lawyers after the eighth court hearing of his trial on Tuesday.

The move is seen as certain to delay court examinations on the case, in which Kawai, 57, and his wife, Anri, 46, a House of Councillors lawmaker, allegedly distributed cash to local politicians in Anri's constituency to help her campaign for the Upper House election in July last year.

The case against the couple has been handled under a "100-day trial" fast-track process, with three or four court hearings held per week.

According to one of the dismissed lawyers, Katsuyuki Kawai has claimed that it would be impossible to defend him in such a hectic schedule.

After Tokyo District Court rejected the defense team's request for a review of the hearing schedule, he apparently felt that his rights were in jeopardy, the lawyer said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press