The Tokyo District Court has approved the release on bail of former House of Representatives member Tsukasa Akimoto following his recent indictments on multiple bribery charges related to shamed Chinese gaming firm 500.com.
As reported by Jiji Press, Akimoto had his bail set at JPY 30 million (US$273,000) on Monday and has already paid the amount in full, although he has not yet been released pending an appeal filed by public prosecutors.
His bail conditions forbid him from contacting LDP lawmaker Takaki Shirasuka and former member Shigeaki Katsunuma who are alleged to have accompanied him on a tour of a Macau casino hosted by 500.com.
Akimoto has been charged on three separate counts of bribery since his initial arrest on Christmas Day, the most recent relating to allegedly accepting bribes equivalent to JPY 3.85 million from the Chinese company, including a JPY 2 million wire transfer and travel expenses to Macau.
He is also accused of receiving JPY 2 million on behalf of 500.com for delivering a keynote speech at a symposium in Naha City in August 2017, paid to him via a consultancy company established in Tokyo by the former policy secretary, and of accepting another bribe from 500.com related to a December 2017 visit to the 500.com head office in Shenzhen.
The Chinese company was reportedly interested in developing an IR in either Okinawa or Hokkaido, although both cities have since withdrawn from Japan’s IR race.
Akimoto has denied all charges.