Japan's Nagoya District Court has sentenced five ex–employees of five major construction companies to suspended prison terms for antitrust violations in a series of rigged bids for the Nagoya subway extension projects.

Masahiro Shibata, 71, a former adviser to Obayashi Corp's Nagoya branch, was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended for five years, for co–ordinating the bid rigging.

The four others at Kajima, Shimizu, Okumura and Maeda each received 18 months, suspended for three years, for conspiracy.

The court also imposed fines of YEN 200 million (US$ 1.7 million) on Obayashi and YEN 100 to 150 million (US$ 850000 to 1.3 million) each on the other four companies.

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