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A high court upheld Monday a lower court ruling that sentenced a secretary of a disgraced lawmaker to 18 months in prison, suspended for five years, for illegally paying election campaigners, a decision that will most likely cost the Upper House lawmaker her seat.

The Hiroshima High Court turned down an appeal by Hiroshi Tatemichi, 54, a state-paid secretary of former Liberal Democratic Party Upper House member Anri Kawai, 46, who is currently on trial on vote-buying charges along with her Lower House lawmaker husband Katsuyuki Kawai, who served as justice minister.

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