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Former prosecutor held for harboring suspect

Kyodo

A former prosecutor was arrested Friday on suspicion of harboring a criminal suspect who allegedly blackmailed a senior police officer investigating a gang affiliated with the Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime syndicate, police said.

Masanori Tachi, 65, now a private attorney based in Aichi Prefecture, is suspected of helping Koji Aoki, 43, evade police by preparing several million yen for him around June 2011 in conspiracy with two other people.

The police identified the other two as Yoshinori Sato, 55, operator of an adult entertainment business, and Osamu Yamaguchi, 38, who has a work history in adult entertainment shops.

Tachi has represented Sato, who is believed to have donated a huge amount of money to the Yamaguchi-gumi affiliate. Tachi and Sato have denied the allegations, the police said.

Aoki was arrested in January over the intimidation case but was released without being charged. He was arrested again Friday on suspicion of making threatening phone calls to a police officer.