A public prosecutor arrested last year renewed his charges against his former colleagues Tuesday, repeating his claim that money meant to pay off informants is instead going toward wining and dining.
The former head of the public security department at the Osaka High Court Prosecutor’s Office describes his arrest and firing as part of a conspiracy to keep his charges from gaining traction.
In a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Tokyo, Tamaki Mitsui, 58, demanded that public prosecutors’ offices acknowledge how “research activity funds” are actually used and apologize to the public.
He said senior prosecutors frequently use this money for meals at prestigious restaurants, rounds of golf, mah-jongg games and other activities.
“The misuse of the fund is well-known inside prosecutors’ offices. I myself long benefited from the fund while serving as a deputy public prosecutor,” said Mitsui, who was fired by the the Osaka office in May last year. “This off-the-books fund is a crime against taxpayers, and although it is a crime by its own people, crime should be taken up as a crime, given prosecutors’ mission to pursue justice.”
He said the Tokyo District Prosecutor’s Office is allocated about 30 million yen every year, the Osaka office receives 20 million yen and district offices in other prefectures get between 4 million yen and 5 million yen. Mitsui said senior prosecutors typically get access to the fund by “inventing” informers.
Mitsui, who blew the whistle on the misuse of the fund from around 2001, was arrested on April 22 last year, the very day he was to be interviewed in TV, on suspicion of falsifying public documents and abuse of his authority concerning the auction of a condominium.
During Tuesday’s news conference, Mitsui said he was about to reveal prosecutors’ abuse of the fund in two TV interviews and a major daily newspaper. He was also due to reveal more details of the matter in the Diet judicial affairs committee, with support from opposition lawmakers, the following month.
He currently stands accused of accepting bribes, falsifying public documents and other charges at the Osaka District Court. Mitsui has pleaded not guilty, saying his arrest was bogus and only designed to prevent him from disclosing alleged criminal activities.
After being held for nearly a year at the Osaka Detention House, he was released on parole in March and is now ready to fight until “the Public Prosecutor General begs the public for an apology,” in cooperation with Diet members and the media.
He added that he plans to sue Justice Minister Mayumi Moriyama for repeatedly lying to conceal the prosecutors’ crimes.