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Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011

Ex-aide says DPJ don not party to funds falsification


Staff writer

A former aide of Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker Ichiro Ozawa claimed in court Wednesday that neither he nor his ex-boss were involved in the alleged falsification of political funding reports.

Testifying in Ozawa's Tokyo District Court trial, Mitsutomo Ikeda also said prosecutors forced him to sign an erroneous statement they penned on his behalf in which he admitted he had reported to Ozawa about the false financial entries.

"It was by no means a situation I could refuse. I was (pressured) into signing," Ikeda said. "I didn't think Mr. Ozawa would be held (accountable) for its contents and signed it because I wanted to go home."

Ozawa has pleaded innocent to the charge of conspiring with former aides, including Ikeda, to falsify reports for his fund management organization, Rikuzankai, in 2004 and 2005 in connection with a ¥400 million land deal.

The 34-year-old former secretary also stressed that Ozawa did not dictate how to write the funding reports and that his boss was only interested in the big picture regarding income and spending for all five of his political groups, including Rikuzankai.

"I was in charge of the overall accounting, and so I made the decisions myself," Ikeda said.

Ikeda was convicted in September of violating the Political Funds Control Law.



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