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(Update) Tokyo Court OKs Bail Release for Lawmaker Akimoto

(Update) Tokyo Court OKs Bail Release for Lawmaker Akimoto

   Tokyo, Feb. 10 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo District Court on Monday approved the release on bail of Japanese lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto, who has been indicted on bribe-taking charges over casino-featuring integrated resorts.
   Bail was set at 30 million yen, which Akimoto paid the same day. Public prosecutors filed an appeal against the court decision, and Akimoto will not be released until the appeal is processed.
   Under the terms of the bail, the 48-year-old member of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, is barred from contacting Takaki Shirasuka, a lawmaker of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and former lawmaker Shigeaki Katsunuma. The two joined Akimoto in an inspection tour of a Macau casino hosted by Chinese online lottery operator 500.com, which planned to join an IR project in Japan.
   Akimoto, former Cabinet Office state minister in charge of the Japanese government's initiative to launch IRs in the country, has been indicted on suspicion of accepting 7.6 million yen in bribes, including cash, from the Shenzhen-based company. He left the LDP when he was first arrested late last December.
   He is also barred from having contact with five lawmakers, to whom the 500.com side claims to have given cash worth one million yen each. Among the five is former postal privatization minister Mikio Shimoji, who was expelled from opposition Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) after his alleged receipt of the money came to light.

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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