Ex-Justice Minister Kawai Refuses to Testify at Wife’s Trial


Tokyo, Oct. 22 (Jiji Press)--Indicted former Japanese Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai repeatedly refused to testify at a court hearing held on Thursday for his wife, Anri, over a vote-buying scandal tied to the July 2019 national election.

In his first examination as witness in his wife’s trial held at Tokyo District Court, Katsuyuki, 57, a member of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of parliament, said, “I will say what I need to say during my own trial.”

Both Katsuyuki and Anri, 47, a member of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber, have been charged with buying votes in her campaign for the 2019 Upper House election, in violation of the public offices election law.

Katsuyuki answered very few questions from the prosecutor side. Instead, he said: “I’m a defendant in a criminal case. I’d like to refrain from testifying.”

An examination set for Friday was canceled as Katsuyuki repeatedly refused to testify.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press