100 People Escape Indictment over Cash from Kawais
Tokyo, July 6 (Jiji Press)--Public prosecutors on Tuesday decided not to indict any of the 100 people who received cash from former Japanese Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai or his wife, Anri, in a high-profile vote-buying scandal related to her 2019 national election campaign.
The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office's special investigation squad apparently concluded that Katsuyuki, 58, forcibly gave cash to many of them, and that the level of maliciousness of those who received the money was therefore low.
In such vote-buying cases, those who receive cash or other items as rewards could be subject to punishment under the country's public offices election law. Even those who receive only 10,000 yen or less could be punished, with a summary indictment.
The prosecutors' decision not to lay criminal charges against any of the 100 people is very unusual as some of them received 1 million yen or more.
"None of them asked for money actively," Hiroshi Yamamoto, deputy chief of the prosecutors office, told a news conference, adding that they all received the cash passively. "Thinking in a reasonable and fair way, it's not appropriate to indict some of them," he said.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]