• Kyodo News

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The Tokyo District Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition by prosecutors to block bail for Takanori Okubo and released the key aide to former Democratic Party of Japan President Ichiro Ozawa.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office tried to block Okubo’s release as soon as he posted ¥15 million in bail Monday.

Lawyers for Okubo, 48, who was treasurer of Ozawa’s fund management body Rikuzankai, applied for bail last Thursday for the first time since he was arrested March 3 and indicted March 24. The scandal forced Ozawa to step down as leader of the main opposition party.

Okubo is under indictment for violating the political funds control law by receiving ¥35 million in donations from Nishimatsu Construction Co. between 2003 and 2006 and falsely reporting them as contributions from what are believed to be dummy entities created by the general contractor.

Former Nishimatsu President Mikio Kunisawa, 70, who was indicted together with Okubo, made bail on May 1. Kunisawa’s trial is set to open June 19 at the Tokyo court.

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