Decision on whether to appeal Ozawa acquittal set for May 9

JIJI

Lawyers acting as prosecutors said Wednesday they will decide next Wednesday whether to appeal former ruling party leader Ichiro Ozawa’s acquittal last week in connection with a political funds reporting scandal.

The lawyers failed to reach a conclusion at their meeting Wednesday and plan to meet again May 9, a day before the deadline for filing an appeal in the case.

At Wednesday’s meeting, a participant voiced a desire to appeal the verdict, but another was reluctant to do so because the prospects of winning the case apparently were uncertain, according to Shunzo Omuro, one of the three lawyers.

In its April 26 ruling, the Tokyo District Court said Ozawa, a former chief of the Democratic Party of Japan, may have been told by his secretaries that they planned to refrain from booking spending related to a land deal but he may not have been aware that such nonreporting was illegal.