Tokushukai founder to escape indictment for election fraud

JIJI

Prosecutors are expected not to indict Torao Tokuda, founder and former head of the hospital group Tokushukai embroiled in a high-profile election fraud case, due to his extreme ill health, according to informed sources.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office believes that Tokuda, 75, led illegal campaigning for his son, Takeshi Tokuda, in the Lower House election last December.

However, the office has judged that he would not be able to face a trial as he can communicate only through eye movements using a letter board because he is suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the sources said Thursday.

Tokuda’s doctor has told the prosecutor’s office that it would be difficult to get him into a court.

Tokuda is suspected of conspiring with Tokushukai executives to pay a total of ¥155.6 million to 594 employees for working on Takeshi Tokuda’s political campaign. He has denied the charges.

Eight people, including two daughters of Takeshi Tokuda, were indicted Dec. 3 for violating the public offices election law, which prohibits paying people to work on political campaigns. Other people, including Torao Tokuda’s 75-year-old wife, Hideko, are expected to be indicted Tuesday.