The House of Representatives Budget Committee voted unanimously Thursday to file a perjury complaint with prosecutors against scandal-tainted lawmaker Muneo Suzuki over testimony he made before the panel in March.
The committee submitted a letter of accusation against Suzuki, 54, in the name of Yuji Tsushima, the committee chairman, to the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office the same day, committee members said.
Suzuki is the second Lower House member ever to face a perjury complaint and faces up to 10 years in prison under the Diet testimony law if found guilty.
In 1995, the Budget Committee filed a perjury complaint against former Labor Minister Toshio Yamaguchi over his testimony on questionable loans from two bankrupt credit cooperatives.
During Thursday’s session, committee members said they strongly suspect Suzuki perjured himself when he said that political funds he received from Hokkaido-based construction company Shimada Kensetsu were legitimate. Shimada Kensetsu is one of Suzuki’s major supporters.
Suzuki is also suspected of having lied under oath when he claimed he did not oppose the dispatch of an international emergency aid group to Mozambique and that he did not know Shimada Kensetsu shouldered the salary of his private secretary, according to the complaint.
Suzuki proclaimed his innocence in a report submitted to the committee, and has said the investigative authority is trying to concoct an excuse to make him look like a criminal.
Suzuki was charged in July with taking 5 million yen in bribes from Hokkaido lumber company Yamarin in return for securing favorable government contracts in 1998, when he was deputy chief Cabinet secretary.
The Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office will indict Suzuki next week on a fresh charge of violating the Law Concerning the Oath and Testimony by Witnesses, investigation sources said.
Prosecutors also plan to indict Suzuki by then on a charge of making false donation statements in violation of the Political Funds Control Law, bringing to a close its investigations into the lawmaker, the sources said.
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