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Ex-justice minister, lawmaker wife plead not guilty to vote buying

Former Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai as well as his lawmaker wife Anri Kawai on Tuesday begged not guilty in the very first hearing of a test at the Tokyo District Court to fees of vote buying throughout the latter’s project to be chosen to Japan’s top residence last summertime.

Katsuyuki Kawai, a House of Representative participant recognized for having close connections to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has actually been fingered on uncertainty of going against the political election regulation by handing out cash money to political leaders as well as fans in Hiroshima Prefecture to compensate them for ballots protected in the project to obtain Anri chosen in July 2019.

The 2 were detained by Tokyo district attorneys in June as well as fingered the complying with month, striking to the Abe management which has actually lately seen its appeal subside over its handling of the unique coronavirus pandemic.

Katsuyuki Kawai (R) as well as his wife Anri take the phase throughout a political fundraising event in Hiroshima on Sept. 23, 2019. The legislators were detained on June 18, 2020, on uncertainty of breaking down cash money to regional political leaders as well as fans throughout the wife’s 2019 top residence political election project. (Kyodo) 

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According to the charge, the 57-year-old previous minister administered concerning 29 million yen ($270,000) amongst 100 individuals, consisting of regional political leaders in Hiroshima, in between March as well as August in 2014 with the intent of protecting ballots.

Anri, 46, is implicated of conspiring with him on 1.7 million yen well worth of cash money handouts to 5 people in between March as well as June.

While the Public Offices Election Law advises courts to promptly provide judgments on election-related accusations, generally within 100 days from the charge, the test is anticipated to take longer due to the lot of witnesses that are established to be called.

The Kawais, that have actually both currently surrendered from the judgment Liberal Democratic Party over the detraction, will certainly shed their seats in parliament if they are discovered guilty as well as their judgments settled.

In the political election, Anri, a previous prefectural setting up participant, won among both seats in the Hiroshima constituency where a fellow LDP prospect, the then-incumbent expert Kensei Mizote, likewise ran. Mizote was unseated.