Laws and Justice

Tokyo Prosecutors Decline to Indict Hagiuda and Seko in Political Funds Scandal

Main image to the post Tokyo Prosecutors Decline to Indict Hagiuda and Seko in Political Funds Scandal

Tokyo Prosecutors Decide Not to Indict Hagiuda and Seko in Political Funds Scandal

The special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office announced on Thursday that they will not be indicting Diet members Koichi Hagiuda and Hiroshige Seko in connection with a political funds scandal involving factions of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

Hagiuda, 60, is a former chairperson of the LDP's Policy Research Council. Seko, 61, is a former secretary general for the LDP in the House of Councillors and has since left the party.

The investigation focused on allegations that Hagiuda, Seko, and six others, including staff of their respective political organizations, failed to record certain income on their political funds reports. This income reportedly came in the form of kickbacks from ticket sales to Abe faction fundraising parties.

The special squad's decision not to prosecute Hagiuda and Seko was based on insufficient evidence to substantiate the accusations. The secretary responsible for the false entries in Hagiuda's case and the financial manager of Seko's funds organization admitted to making false entries but received suspended indictments due to the relatively small amounts involved. Charges against the other four staff members were dropped due to insufficient evidence.

The investigation initially charged 10 individuals in January, including three members of the Abe faction, for failing to report more than ¥30 million from 2018 to 2022. Lawmakers with unrecorded amounts below ¥30 million were not charged. In Hagiuda's case, the unrecorded amount was ¥27.28 million, and for Seko, it was ¥15.42 million. These discrepancies prompted university professors and others to file complaints, leading to the latest developments in the case.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09