Prosecutors on Monday sought a three-year prison sentence for a former member of the Hyogo Prefectural Assembly who left a lasting impression on many TV viewers after weeping hysterically at a news conference where he was questioned about his alleged misuse of public funds.

Ryutaro Nonomura, 49, is being tried at the Kobe District Court on charges of pocketing about ¥9.13 million in travel allowances by pretending to make numerous work-related trips.

His lawyers have asked for leniency, saying he should be spared prison time. In his closing statement Monday, Nonomura said, "I'm sorry I could not fulfill my responsibility to make thorough explanations because of my inability to answer questions due to a lack of memory."

The prosecution argued that Nonomura faked making many one-day business trips by falsifying receipts for expenses, and that he betrayed the people of the prefecture by taking advantage of a loophole in the allowance arrangement.

The court is set to issue its ruling July 6.

In July 2014, while he was still an assembly member, Nonomura wept hysterically at a news conference when confronted with the allegations.

His tearful outburst drew attention, even ridicule, from people who watched the replays of the news event on TV and the Internet.

Nonomura resigned later that month. He has since repaid over ¥18 million he had received in allowances since fiscal 2011.