Former Japanese premier reconsidered charges of vote-buying

Former Japanese premier reconsidered charges of vote-buying

The special investigation group of prosecutor’s office in Tokyo has changed its mind to bring charges against former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe in the case of vote buying and violation of the law on political foundations.

Investigators have no evidence that he is guilty. Abe had already been questioned in the case of funding banquets he held for Liberal Democratic Party supporters, and he denied any involvement in the violations.

Instead, the prosecutor’s office decided to charge Hiroyuki Haikawa, the former prime minister’s senior secretary. He may be fined because of improperly completed financial reports on banquets.

The dinners in question were held from 2013 to 2019 for organizations of Abe supporters from his polling station in Yamaguchi Prefecture. They paid for the treats, but it was not enough, and at least $387,000 was allocated from the politician’s funds. However, the documentation was not done properly.

Such payments could be considered a violation of the law and bribery of voters, for which there could be imprisonment of up to five years or a fine of 9.7 thousand dollars.