「西松献金」公判 小沢氏は「天の声」を説明せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Jun. 20, 2009)
Ozawa should explain 'voice from heaven'
「西松献金」公判 小沢氏は「天の声」を説明せよ(6月20日付・読売社説)

It is Ichiro Ozawa's responsibility as a politician to explain the situation after prosecutors claimed at a court hearing--a very public occasion--that the office of the former Democratic Party of Japan president issued "voices from heaven" intended to sway decisions over which firms would win public works project orders.
 公共工事の受注で、小沢事務所から「天の声」が出ていた――。法廷という公開の場で検察がこう指摘したのだから、その実態を説明するのが政治家の責務だろう。

The first hearing of the trial of a former president of Nishimatsu Construction Co. and another person, who have been indicted on a charge of violating the Political Funds Control Law and another charge was held at the Tokyo District Court on Friday.
 政治資金規正法違反などの罪に問われた西松建設前社長らの初公判が、東京地裁で開かれた。

In their opening statement, the prosecutors said Ozawa's office issued "voices from heaven" that instructed which construction company should get orders for public works projects in Iwate Prefecture--Ozawa's home turf--and others in neighboring Akita Prefecture. The prosecutors named five such projects in which Nishimatsu was involved.
 検察側は冒頭陳述で、民主党の小沢一郎前代表の地元岩手県の公共工事と、隣の秋田県の一部工事で、小沢事務所が受注業者を決定する「天の声」を出していたとして、西松建設が絡んだ5件の工事名を挙げた。

Of them, four were won by consortiums that included Nishimatsu. The bidding prices for them exceeded 12.2 billion yen. The prosecutors also identified a case in which Ozawa's state-funded first secretary, who has been indicted in connection with the political donation scandal, allegedly issued a "voice from heaven."
 このうち4件は、西松建設を含む共同企業体が受注し、落札額は122億円に上った。起訴された公設第1秘書が天の声を出したケースもあった、としている。

If political donations from the Nishimatsu side to the Ozawa side were made with the intention of getting the "voice from heaven" to speak, as the prosecutors argued, the donations would be tantamount to bribes. Some argue that parties involved in the scandal therefore sought to hide the donations.
 検察側が主張するように「天の声」を得るための金だったとすれば、西松建設からの献金は賄賂(わいろ)に近いことになる。だからこそ、当事者は献金を隠したかったのではないかとの見方も出ている。

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Case appears watertight

The Political Funds Control Law bans corporate donations to lawmakers' political fund management organizations. Nishimatsu evaded this regulation by making donations to the Ozawa side through two dummy political organizations led by former Nishimatsu officials.
 政治資金規正法は、政治家の資金管理団体への企業献金を禁じている。西松建設は、OBを代表とする二つのダミーの政治団体を通じて小沢氏側に献金することで、この規制を逃れていた。

The former Nishimatsu president confirmed the claims in the indictment and said, "I shouldn't have acted in a way that broke the law."
 前社長はこうした起訴事実を認めるとともに、被告人質問で「法を犯してまでやるべきではなかった」と述べた。

In addition to the arguments advanced during Friday's hearing, Ozawa's secretary, who will be tried at a separate trial, has been charged with falsely booking donations worth 35 million yen in political fund reports filed by Ozawa's political fund management organization and two local DPJ chapters.
 分離公判となる小沢氏の秘書はこれに加え、資金管理団体と政党支部の収支報告書に3500万円分の虚偽を記入したとされる。

According to a record of the questioning of the secretary read by prosecutors, the secretary "was aware the donations in question were from the Nishimatsu side." This statement could indicate the secretary knew the donations were illegal.
 検察側が明らかにした秘書の供述調書では、秘書は「西松建設側の献金と知っていた」という。違法性を認識していたとも受け取れる供述である。

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Many questions to answer

Ozawa has said,"It's impolite to ask a donor political organization how it raised political funds, and I won't stick my nose into such business."
 小沢氏はこれまで、「寄付をいただく政治団体に、資金をどう捻出(ねんしゅつ)したかを尋ねるのは失礼で、詮索(せんさく)しない」と説明してきた。

But Ozawa is not only being asked whether his secretary violated the Political Funds Control Law.
 だが、小沢氏が問われているのは、秘書の政治資金規正法違反の有無だけではない。

During Friday's first hearing, prosecutors pointed out an apparent link between political donations to Ozawa's side and public works orders. Why did he receive a large amount of political donations from one specific general contractor? How did he spend the money? Ozawa should provide detailed answers to such questions.
 初公判では、献金と公共工事の受注に密接な関係があったと指摘された。なぜ特定のゼネコンから多額の献金を受けたのか。それを何に使ったのか。こうした疑問にきちんと答えるべきだ。

Almost three months have passed since Ozawa's secretary was indicted. Has Ozawa made efforts to uncover the facts of the scandal during this period? This is not a matter that can be settled with his resignation from the top post of the main opposition party.
 秘書が起訴されて約3か月たった。この間、小沢氏はどこまで事実関係の把握に努めたのか。代表を辞任して済む問題ではない。

The party itself should not imagine it can draw a line under the scandal with a report issued by a third-party committee it set up. The DPJ also should provide accounts that satisfy the public.
 民主党も、第三者委員会が出した報告書で幕を引くことなく、党として国民が納得できる説明をしなければなるまい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 20, 2009)
(2009年6月20日01時26分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2009-06-20 07:19 | 英字新聞

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