Lawmaker wife of former Japanese justice minister found guilty of vote-buying

22 January, 2021 12:00 AM printer

TOKYO: A Japanese court found on Thursday the lawmaker wife of a former justice minister guilty of vote-buying, reports Reuters.

Anri Kawai and her husband, Katsuyuki Kawai, were arrested last year on charges of paying money to help Anri win a seat in the upper house of parliament.

Katsuyuki, under trial separately, has long had close ties to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who is struggling with falling poll numbers, and his predecessor, Shinzo Abe, who resigned last year.

Anri was sentenced to a jail term of one year and four months, suspended for five years, the Tokyo District Court said.

Prosecutors said in a statement at the time the Kawais were arrested that they had paid 1.7 million yen to five people in 2019 to help Anri win her seat, while separately, Katsuyuki had paid 27.31 million yen to 103 people to help her get elected.

At the time of their arrest, Katsuyuki denied any wrongdoing while Anri declined to comment on the advice of her lawyer.


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