The Metropolitan Police Department arrested an inspector and two former inspectors early Friday for allegedly leaking investigative information on a fatal medical malpractice case to the clinic involved.
Yoichi Shirotori, 58, who was in charge of the case, allegedly handed over copies of investigative documents to the former inspectors, who had landed jobs at Shinagawa Cosmetic Surgery after leaving the force.
The two — Noriaki Nakamichi, 53, and Miyakazu Ishihara, 61, — are suspected of persuading Shirotori to hand over the information, and are believed to have frequently wined and dined with him, MPD sources said.
All three have reportedly denied the allegations.
“It is an abominable act for a serving police officer. We sincerely apologize for seriously diminishing the trust of the people of Tokyo,” Kenichi Sakurazawa, a senior official in the department’s Personnel and Training Bureau, said at an early morning news conference shortly after the arrests.
According to the police, Shirotori leaked the information from around March to August last year. Both Nakamichi and Ishihara began working for the clinic as advisors that March, after the police opened an investigation into the death in December 2009 of a clinic patient.
The two were in charge of “dealing with trouble” but quit the clinic this spring after the police found copies of investigation documents during a raid on clinic-related premises in March.
Nakamichi was particularly close to Shirotori, who was removed from the investigation after the leak was found, as he had been a junior colleague of Shirotori.
The police seized copies of documents belonging to the department’s criminal investigation bureau, including information on the cause of death of the victim — a 70-year-old woman who died after undergoing liposuction surgery at the clinic — during a raid on related premises in March.
In April, the police arrested the clinic doctor who performed the liposuction, Yasuhiro Horiuchi, 38. He denied wrongdoing but was indicted the following month on a charge of professional negligence resulting in death.