Hiroshima prosecutors to deal with charges against 34 people in vote-buying scandal

The treatment of 34 people accused of having received money but having escaped indictment in a high-profile vote-buying scandal involving the 2019 House of Councilors election has been transferred to the prosecutor’s office. Hiroshima district, informed sources said.

The transfer of the Tokyo District Procuratorate’s special investigation team was completed on Thursday.

The move came after Tokyo’s No. 6 Investigative Committee decided last December that 35 people, including all 34, deserved to be charged and the special investigative team launched a new investigation. The only person whose treatment has not been transferred to prosecutors in Hiroshima has health problems.

The Hiroshima prosecutor’s office is expected to file criminal charges soon against the 34 people, including members of the Hiroshima Prefectural Assembly, for violating the law on elections in public offices.

According to the sources, most of the 34 are likely to face summary indictment and fines, while those who refuse to follow summary proceedings should be charged without arrest and could be prosecuted. criminally.

Former Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai, 58, and his wife, Anri, 48, were found guilty of giving a total of 28.7 million yen to 100 people to buy him votes in the July 2019 elections to the Upper House.

In July last year, the Tokyo prosecutor’s office decided not to charge the recipients of the money, judging that they were in a passive position and Kawai’s party forcibly gave them money. money. Members of a Hiroshima Prefecture citizens’ group filed a request for an investigation with the commission.

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