Lawyers serving as prosecutors on May 9 appealed the acquittal of Ichiro Ozawa, meaning that the political heavyweight’s legal battle will continue in the Tokyo High Court.
"There was a misperception of facts that could not be overlooked, and we felt we would be able to sufficiently revise" that misperception in the higher court, one of the three lawyers said at a news conference held at 2 p.m. in Tokyo.
The Tokyo District Court on April 26 found Ozawa not guilty of falsifying political fund reports, saying there was no evidence to prove he had conspired with his former aides in the scandal.
Ozawa, 69, a former president of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, was forcibly indicted after a prosecution inquest panel decided that a court should try the case.
Ozawa's case was the second in which a verdict had been reached after an indictment forced by a prosecution inquest panel. Both defendants were found not guilty. And in both cases, lawyers serving as prosecutors have decided to appeal the courts’ rulings.
According to the indictment against Ozawa, Rikuzankai, his political fund management organization, bought real estate in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward in October 2004 using 400 million yen ($5 million) provided by Ozawa as a loan. This money was not included in the organization's political fund report as income for 2004.
The expenditure of about 350 million yen to buy the property was also not listed until the 2005 report.
The Tokyo District Court recognized that Ozawa was informed of and approved a report given by his former aides about not including the 400-million-yen loan item and delaying the 350-million-yen expenditure item. But it also said there was insufficient evidence to conclude that Ozawa was a co-conspirator with his three former aides in falsifying the political fund reports.
The court ruled, "There is the possibility that he did not recognize the need to include the 400 million yen as income and the land-purchase expenditure in the 2004 report."
- « Prev
- Next »