Tokyo High Court on Monday acquitted ex-DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan) chief Ichiro Ozawa of allegations of false political funds reporting, local media reported.
Ozawa, one of the most powerful lawmakers in Japan, who is also credited with helping DPJ rise to power in 2009, has pleaded not guilty to charges of violating the Political Funds Control Law over false reporting by his political funds management body, Rikuzankai, in connection with a 2004 land deal in Tokyo.
Ozawa has been charged with conspiring with his former aides to omit the 400 million yen that he lent to Rikuzankai from its 2004 political funds report. He is also accused of having listed in its 2005 funds report roughly 350 million yen used to purchase a plot of land in Tokyo, which should have been registered in the 2004 report, according to Kyodo News.
The closely watched ruling is the first involving a politician facing charges following the decision of an independent panel of citizens to send a case to trial after public prosecutors decided against indictment, said reports.