Japan`s political kingpin Ozawa fights indictment

Japan`s ruling party powerbroker Ichiro Ozawa hit back as he battles a campaign finance scandal, by suing the government in a bid to stop an indictment against him.

Last Updated: Oct 15, 2010, 16:16 PM IST

Tokyo: Japan`s ruling party powerbroker
Ichiro Ozawa on Friday hit back as he battles a campaign finance
scandal, by suing the government in a bid to stop an
indictment against him.

Ozawa, a former party chief and the biggest faction boss
of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), is a veteran backroom
operator and last month narrowly failed in a bid to oust Prime
Minister Naoto Kan.

The 68-year-old dubbed the "Shadow Shogun" of Japanese
politics has long been dogged by a campaign finance scandal
that has seen three of his former aides indicted and has led
prosecutors to raid his offices.

In the long-running legal saga, a citizens` review panel
last month forced the judiciary to once more take up the case
against Ozawa after prosecutors earlier dropped it citing a
lack of evidence.

Ozawa today called that decision "illegal and invalid" in
a suit filed with the Tokyo District Court, according to his
lawyers.

The scandal centres on false accounting reports in 2004
and 2005 by the body that manages Ozawa`s campaign funds.
The opposition has attacked the DPJ, alleging it is
trying to protect Ozawa, the controversial strategist credited
with engineering the DPJ election win in August 2009 that
ended more than half a century of conservative rule.

PTI