• Kyodo

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A former Kanagawa Prefectural Police officer in charge of gun control was handed a suspended prison term Friday and fined 140,000 yen for accepting bribes last year in exchange for police investigation details.

The Yokohama District Court gave Shinichi Sasaki, 44, a former police sergeant, a prison sentence of 18 months, suspended for four years.

The prosecution had demanded an 18-month term and a fine of 140,000 yen.

The court also sentenced Hiroshi Uchida, 31, a gangster affiliated with the Inagawa-kai crime syndicate, to 34 months in prison, and Eiji Okamura, 36, unemployed, to eight months, for bribing the police officer and violating the Stimulant Drugs Control Law.

The prosecution had demanded a prison term of four years for Uchida and 10 months for Okamura.

According to the ruling, Sasaki was asked by Uchida and Okamura on June 17 if an arrest warrant had been issued for Uchida on suspicion of violating the drugs law.

Upon making the request, the two men gave Sasaki 40,000 yen in cash and offered him free sex with a prostitute, the court said.

Sasaki also received 100,000 yen on June 27 after telling Uchida and Okamura that no such arrest warrant had been issued, according to the ruling.

Judge Hiroshi Shida said Sasaki’s crime was “extremely malicious” as he had repeatedly demanded money even after accepting cash from the accused pair.

“He severely deepened public distrust of the police,” the judge said.

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