A Tokyo prosecutor allegedly encouraged a former assembly member to make a confession by telling him his indictment would be waived in a bid to build a case against former Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai, who was subsequently convicted of buying votes for his wife, Anri Kawai, in the 2019 Upper House election, a lawyer for the assembly member said Friday.

The prosecutor for the special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor's Office is suspected of convincing the man to admit the money he received was for vote-buying purposes, the lawyer, Tsuyoshi Tanoue, said.

Tanoue cited a recording of the exchange among several, which were taken by the former Hiroshima city assembly member, Tsuneyasu Kido, 67, while undergoing voluntary questioning by the prosecutor.