Akimoto Gets 4-Year Term over Casino-Linked Graft

Society

Tokyo, Sept. 7 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo District Court on Tuesday sentenced lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto to four years in prison without suspension in a corruption case linked to a project to build a casino resort in Japan.

Akimoto, 49, a member of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, was ruled guilty of taking bribes and violating the law on punishment of organized crimes through witness tampering. He was also ordered to pay 7.6 million yen in fines.

Public prosecutors had demanded a five-year prison term and 7.6 million yen in fines.

Akimoto became the first sitting lawmaker in Japan charged with bribery to get an unsuspended prison sentence in a first-instance ruling in 17 years since Muneo Suzuki, currently a member of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber, was ruled guilty of receiving bribes in exchange for requested favors.

Lawyers for Akimoto filed an appeal against Tuesday's ruling.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press