Ex-official of big LDP faction indicted

A former treasurer of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s largest faction was indicted Saturday over a political donation scandal.

Prosecutors indicted Toshiyuki Takigawa, 55, on charges of violating the Political Funds Control Law. The LDP faction until recently was headed by former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto.

Takigawa was arrested Aug. 29 on suspicion of failing to declare a 100 million yen political donation Hashimoto received from the Japan Dental Association in July 2001.

The prosecutors also indicted Sadao Usuda, 73, former chairman of the dental association, and its former director, Hirotake Uchida, 63, on a charge of failing to list the donation in the accounting report of the association’s political arm.

In the course of investigations, prosecutors questioned Hashimoto, who is believed to have received a check worth 100 million yen from Usuda during dinner at a luxury restaurant in Tokyo.

However, the investigators are expected to wrap up their probe without establishing a case against Hashimoto, concluding that they lack evidence to prove he was involved in hiding the donation.

Hashimoto has said he does not remember accepting the check.