Former Japanese Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai pleads guilty to giving bribes.(pic credit: twitter.com/katsukawai). Image Source: IANS News

Tokyo, June 18 : Former Japanese Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai was sentenced to three years in prison on Friday for buying votes with the intention of securing a seat for his wife in an upper house election in 2019.

The 58-year-old former lawmaker was also fined 1.3 million yen ($11,800) by the Tokyo District Court, Xinhua news agency.

A four-year jail term and 1.5 million yen fine for Kawai breaking the country's election law was being sought by prosecutors.

Kawai handed out a total of about 29 million yen to 100 local politicians and supporters.

In March, Kawai pleaded guilty.

Kawai and his wife Anri, who won the race to become an upper house lawmaker, were indicted in July 2020 on charges of violating the nation's election law by buying votes in the 2019 campaign.

According to the indictment, Kawai, who once served as former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's special adviser for foreign affairs, handed out a total of about 29 million yen to 100 local politicians and supporters in return for their efforts to secure votes for his wife.

Most of the 100 people questioned by prosecutors have admitted to receiving the cash.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party had injected an unusually large amount of 150 million yen into Kawai's camp during the campaign.

Anri Kawai was sentenced to 16 months in prison, suspended for five years, for conspiring with her husband.

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