The Tokyo District Court convicted a government official Thursday of violating the National Civil Service Law for passing out copies of the Japanese Communist Party newspaper in 2003.

Presiding Judge Harumitsu Mori fined 52-year-old Social Insurance Agency employee Akio Horikoshi 100,000 yen, suspended for two years. Prosecutors had sought a 100,000 yen fine for the violation of the law that restricts civil servants' political activities.

The last time a central government official was found guilty of violating the civil servant law was in 1974, when the Supreme Court ruled a postal worker guilty of involvement in the campaign of a candidate for the Diet.