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Japanese lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto was sentenced to 4 years in jail and was fined JPY7.6 million over his involvement in a bribery case linked to the nation’s effort to construct as much as three built-in casino resorts.
Public prosecutors had sought a five-year jail time period and JPY7.6 million in fines for the disgraced lawmaker, however the Tokyo District Court docket delivered on Tuesday a barely lighter sentence.
Mr. Akimoto was discovered responsible of accepting bribes of JPY7.6 million between September 2017 and February 2018 from a Chinese language playing agency pursuing a license to function a casino resort in Japan.
The lawmaker, who regardless of his latest sentence stays a member of the Japanese authorities’s Decrease Home, was first detained in late 2019 and was launched on bail in February 2020 solely to be rearrested in the summertime of that yr.
He give up the ruling Liberal Democratic Occasion following his authentic arrest. The huge bribery scandal is the primary in a few years to contain an incumbent lawmaker within the nation.
Chinese language sports activities lottery operator 500.com was recognized as the corporate that had supplied hefty bribes to Mr. Akimoto, asking him to spearhead its bid for one of many three casino licenses up for grabs from the central authorities. The lawmaker was serving as a Senior Vice Minister within the Cupboard Workplace and was overseeing Japan’s effort to legalize the operation of built-in casino resorts on the time when he took bribes from 500.com.
He has maintained his innocence since he was first arrested almost two years in the past.
Court docket Finds Akimoto Responsible of Extra Wrongdoings
The Tokyo District Court docket has additional discovered Mr. Akimoto responsible of providing cash to 2 former 500.com advisers to offer false testimony in relation to his involvement within the bribery scandal between June and July final yr.
The lawmaker has denied these accusations as properly. Presiding Decide Toshihiko Niwa mentioned Tuesday that “statements of those that admitted to offering money have been totally credible” and “have been strongly supported by goal proof.”
Decide Niwa went on to notice that Mr. Akimoto took the initiative in organizing false court docket testimony and described his actions as “unprecedented obstruction of justice.”
The lawmaker’s authorized crew appealed the Tuesday ruling. Mr. Akimoto was taken into custody following his sentence, however his legal professionals instantly requested bail and the court docket accepted that request. The Decrease Home legislator mentioned that he would stand within the chamber’s subsequent election regardless of his sentence.
Following the Tuesday District Court docket ruling, opposition events demanded Mr. Akimoto’s resignation and criticized the Liberal Democratic Occasion for missing self-discipline and failing to penalize him.
Supply: Lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto to serve 4 years in jail over casino bribes, Japan Occasions, September 7, 2021