• Kyodo

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Hard disk crippled before Obuchi raid

A computer hard disk seized by prosecutors in October in the probe into dodgy fundraising reports linked to former trade minister Yuko Obuchi was destroyed ahead of the raid, sources said Friday.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office is looking into why the disk, which contained accounting data, was destroyed, the sources said.

Investigators searched places linked to Obuchi, such as the home of former Nakanojo Mayor Kenichiro Orita in Gunma Prefecture and Nakanojo town hall, on Oct. 30 and later. The disk was found with drill holes in it.

The search began due to a magazine report on potential irregularities in Obuchi’s political funds reports. The raid was expedited to prevent destruction of evidence after prosecutors learned the disk was damaged, the sources said, but it’s unclear how they learned about it or when.

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