April 26, 2012
“Acquited” A court hands down its decision on one of Japan’s most influential politicians. Judges in Tokyo have found the political king maker not guilty. Former democratic party leader Ichiro Ozawa faced charges of falsifying political funding reports.
His acquittal clears him to use his political weight once again. Here’s NHK World’s Misato Nishikawa at Tokyo’s District Court. She joins us with the latest.
Ozawa has said that since the beginning he was not guilty of these charges. It seems that the judges agreed with what he had to say. The presiding Judge said that a busy politician such as Ozawa could not know what his assistants were doing with every financial report.
Prosecutors accused him of conspiring with his enemies to his falsifying accounting records for 400,000,000 YEN (about $5,000,000 USD) His funding buddy used that money to buy land.
Ozawa said he was never notified about the reports and never gave his approval. The Judge seemed to agree with those arguments. He said that Ozawa’s aids were intentionally involved in a cover up.
Ozawa bowed slightly toward judges when the presiding Judge handed down the ruling. This marks the end of the trial that began half a year ago. We’ll have to wait and see what Ozawa does next.