Ex-Justice Min. Kawai to Drop Appeal over Vote-Buying Ruling
Tokyo, Oct. 19 (Jiji Press)--Former Japanese Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai is planning to withdraw his appeal against a district court ruling that found him guilty of buying votes for his wife in a 2019 national election, informed sources said Tuesday.
If the 58-year-old former House of Representatives lawmaker drops the appeal, the court order, in which he was sentenced to three years in prison without suspension and fined 1.3 million yen, will be finalized.
Kawai had initially insisted on complete innocence over the high-profile vote-buying scandal, but admitted to most of the charges against him and made an apology during his trial at Tokyo District Court.
While the defense side had asked for a suspended sentence, the district court in June this year handed down the prison sentence without suspension, a rare decision for an election law violation case.
The court said that the money given to local assembly members and others was all intended to buy votes, and that it was an extremely malicious act that severely harmed the fairness of elections, the foundation of democracy.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]