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The Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday indicted Katsutoshi Matsuo, a former Foreign Ministry logistics chief, on fresh charges of swindling the government out of 119 million yen.

Matsuo, 55, who was indicted March 30 on charges of defrauding the government out of 42 million yen, is now suspected of having pocketed an additional 119 million yen by padding accommodation expenses for three overseas trips by two former prime ministers, according to the indictment.

The three trips were:

* Ryutaro Hashimoto’s visit to Indonesia in March 1998.

* Keizo Obuchi’s junket to Russia in November the same year.

* Obuchi’s three-nation tour of France, Italy and Germany in January 1999.

Matsuo’s indictment on March 30 was on charges of swindling 42 million yen from the Cabinet Secretariat’s discretionary funds earmarked for three trips abroad involving Hashimoto and the late Obuchi from 1997 through 1999.

Investigations showed that while Matsuo was logistics chief from 1993 to 1999 he received about 965 million yen from the secretariat’s funds for 46 overseas trips by prime ministers, of which he is believed to have diverted 600 million yen for personal use, such as the purchase of racehorses, golf club memberships and a luxury condominium, police sources said earlier.

Many sources both inside and outside the Foreign Ministry say the case is not just a crime by an individual but by an organization as well.

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