The prosecutor’s office requested an arrest warrant for former Japanese Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai and his wife, Henri Kawai, for allegedly violating the election law by misappropriating funds and bribing voters during the election campaign. As Kyodo reported on Thursday, both will be detained during the day.
The investigation concluded that Kawai led the election campaign of his wife, who ran for the upper house in parliament last July. It is noted that the ex-minister handed out a total of 24 million yen ($ 224 thousand) in cash to voters in one of the districts in Hiroshima Prefecture. He transferred money, including representatives of local authorities.
According to investigators, Henri Kawai squandered about 1.5 million yen ($ 14 thousand) for the same purpose.
During interrogations, according to the Kyodo agency, about 100 people said that they were bribed. Both spouses on the basis of last year’s elections went to the upper house of parliament. They deny that they have carried out any activity contrary to the law.
This week, politicians left the ranks of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) but curled about the desire to remain members of parliament. The parliamentary session, which gave them the right to immunity, ended on June 17, which provided an opportunity for the prosecutor to send them under arrest.
At the end of October last year, Kawai, who was considered a politician close to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, resigned from his post as minister in one of the weekly reports that his wife violated the law through inappropriate campaigns during her election campaign expenditure of funds of its headquarters. In particular, it was reported that she doubled the payments to some hired personnel.
In March, the prosecutor’s office of the Japanese prefecture of Hiroshima raided the office of the ex-minister. Also during the investigation, three assistants to Henri Kawai were arrested. The situation caused a wave of criticism from the opposition regarding the former minister and his wife, who continued to be members of the LDP after the scandal.