Former Construction Minister Kishiro Nakamura was sentenced Oct. 1 to 18 months in prison for accepting a 10 million yen bribe from a construction company trying to block a government bid-rigging probe.The Tokyo District Court also sentenced Shinji Kiyoyama, 71, former vice president of construction giant Kajima Corp., to an 18-month term, suspended for four years, for giving the money to Nakamura, who was a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party when the bribe was paid.Nakamura, 48, who is now an independent Lower House member, was also fined 10 million yen. It is the first time that a Diet member has been given a prison term since October 1983, when the late Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka was sentenced to four years for bribery in connection with the Lockheed scandal of the 1970s.The court found that Nakamura received the bribe in January 1992 when he headed a group of LDP legislators concerned with revising the Antimonopoly Law. In December that year he took up the post of construction minister in the Cabinet of Kiichi Miyazawa. Nakamura had been free on bail, and after the ruling was again released on bail of 60 million yen. Lawyers for Nakamura and Kiyoyama said they immediately filed appeals.

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