Ex-Construction & Transport ministry official jailed

By Richard High12 September 2008

Japan's Osaka District Court has sentenced a former Construction and Transport Ministry "technical official" to 2.5 years imprisonment for accepting bribes.

Koji Ueshima was also fined him about YEN 7.6 million (US$ 708000) for YEN 7.6 million (US$ 708000) in bribes from firms connected with public works projects in the country's national parks.

Judge Hidenori Nagai said Mr Ueshima had damaged public confidence in public affairs by abusing his authority and could not be given a suspended sentence.

According to the ruling, Mr Ueshima received YEN 1 million (US$ ) from a company that won two public works contracts after forcing a subordinate to leak the planned projects' maximum costs in December 2004 and June 2005.

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