OSAKA — A fresh arrest warrant was served Friday on a former senior official of the Osaka High Public Prosecutor’s Office on suspicion of accepting bribes from a gangster in return for investigative information, Osaka prosecutors said.
According to the prosecutors, Tamaki Mitsui, 57, is suspected of accepting a gangster’s invitation to be entertained in expensive nightclubs in Kobe and Osaka in return for information about an investigation being conducted by the office.
In June and July 2001, the gangster spent about 240,000 yen entertaining Mitsui, they said.
Mitsui, the former head of the public security department of the Osaka High Public Prosecutor’s Office, is also suspected of receiving money from the gangster, Tadamitsu Tomari, 40, to pay for a hotel room used for a date with a female escort, possibly during his working hours, the prosecutors said.
Tomari told the prosecutors that Mitsui ordered him to provide the money for the entertainment, they said.
Mitsui, who was arrested last month, has admitted to being wined and dined by Tomari but denies the allegations of providing information in return.
Tomari is one of the gangsters involved in the selling of an apartment, owned by a superior in his underworld organization, that Mitsui successfully bid for, they said.
Mitsui was also indicted Friday on a charge of conspiring with gangsters to prove he was occupying an apartment in Kobe by submitting a fake moving-in notification to Kobe’s Chuo Ward office last summer in an effort to receive tax breaks.
The Justice Ministry said Mitsui was dishonorably discharged Friday.
Speaking at a press conference at her ministry, Justice Minister Mayumi Moriyama said Mitsui “deserves the disciplinary discharge since (he) has caused public distrust in prosecutors.”
“Basically, the matter has much to do with the specific individual, but it was regrettable that a senior prosecutor got deeply involved with gangsters,” Moriyama said.
As for the responsibility of other top-level officials at the ministry and the Public Prosecutor’s Office for failing to supervise Mitsui, Moriyama said she will take measures as soon as the whole picture of what had happened comes into focus.
Mitsui was preparing to accuse senior prosecutors at the Public Prosecutor’s Office of misusing expenses before his arrest in April and has claimed that the prosecutors unlawfully arrested him to keep him quiet, according to his lawyer and other sources.
Before the arrest, Mitsui also told Kyodo News that senior prosecutors misused research activity expenses, allocated to prosecutors and Justice Ministry officials to obtain information from informants, and that he was ready to detail the illegal use of taxpayers’ money in parliament.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.