小沢氏強制起訴 政治的なけじめをつける時だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Feb. 2, 2011)
Ozawa must take political responsibility
小沢氏強制起訴 政治的なけじめをつける時だ(2月1日付・読売社説)

Like three of his former secretaries, former Democratic Party of Japan President Ichiro Ozawa is being pursued over criminal responsibility for alleged accounting irregularities. Given the extreme gravity of the situation, we urge Ozawa to take responsibility as a politician.
 元秘書3人に加え、自らも刑事責任を問われる事態は、極めて重大だ。民主党の小沢一郎元代表には、政治家としてのけじめが求められよう。

Three court-appointed lawyers acting as prosecutors indicted Ozawa on Monday on charges of violating the Political Funds Control Law over false reporting of funds by his political funds management body, Rikuzan-kai, in connection with a land deal in Tokyo.
 小沢氏の資金管理団体「陸山会」の土地取引を巡る事件で、裁判所から検察官役に指定された弁護士が、小沢氏を政治資金規正法違反で強制起訴した。

The mandatory indictment came after an independent judicial panel of citizens determined twice that Ozawa should be indicted even though prosecutors had decided not to do so. Ozawa became the first lawmaker subjected to a mandatory indictment.
 検察の不起訴処分に対し、検察審査会が2度にわたり「起訴すべきだ」と議決したことによる。政治家の強制起訴は初めてだ。

The DPJ kingpin is charged with false reporting of political funds, having failed to list 400 million yen loaned to Rikuzan-kan to purchase a plot of land in Tokyo in its political funds report for 2004.
 小沢氏の起訴事実は、2004年に陸山会が都内の土地を購入した際の原資の4億円を政治資金収支報告書に記載しないなど、虚偽の記載をしたというものだ。

In fact, Ozawa's former secretaries, including House of Representatives member Tomohiro Ishikawa, are the ones who are believed to have conducted false accounting procedures. However, the court-appointed lawyers argue that Ozawa can be charged with conspiring with his former secretaries because the aides are believed to have reported the illicit procedures to Ozawa in advance and received his approval.
 実際に会計処理をしたのは石川知裕衆院議員ら元秘書だが、小沢氏も事前に報告を受けて了承しており、共謀が成立する、というのが指定弁護士の主張である。

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Heavy moral responsibility
 ◆道義的な責任は重い◆

In response, Ozawa insisted he was innocent and would fight the charges in court. "There's nothing I should feel guilty about," he told reporters after the mandatory indictment. He also denied any intention of leaving his party or resigning as a lawmaker, saying that he would continue to sincerely tackle his duties as a Diet member of the DPJ.
 これに対し、小沢氏は強制起訴後、「何一つやましいことはない」と記者団に語り、法廷で無実を主張し、争う方針を表明した。「引き続き民主党国会議員として誠心誠意取り組む」とも述べ、離党や議員辞職を否定した。

Moreover, Ozawa argued the mandatory indictment was made on criteria that are completely different from those used by prosecutors for ordinary indictments when they are fully convinced of a defendant's guilt.
 強制起訴について小沢氏は、「検察によって有罪の確信を持って行われる起訴とは全く異質なものだ」と主張した。

The statement was made based on his own logic that the presumption of innocence in criminal trials should be stronger in cases of mandatory indictment than in cases of ordinary indictment and that therefore he must be ensured more freedom in political activities than an ordinarily indicted defendant would be allowed.
 刑事裁判の「無罪推定の原則」が通常の起訴よりも強く働き、政治活動の自由がより保障されるべきだ、という独自の論法だ。

However, for an incumbent lawmaker to face trial is a situation freighted with heavy meaning. Will a criminal defendant be allowed to insidiously exert influence in a ruling party? Various opinion polls show most people have strong doubts on this point.
 しかし、現職の国会議員が法廷に立たされることは重い意味を持つ。刑事被告人が政権党の中で、隠然と影響力を行使することが果たして許されるのか。各種世論調査で、多くの国民は強い疑問を示している。

In Ozawa's particular case, Ishikawa and the two other former secretaries have been indicted on charges of violating the Political Funds Control Law. In this regard, Ozawa bears heavy political and moral responsibility.
 特に小沢氏の場合、石川議員を含む元秘書3人が政治資金規正法違反で起訴されている。その政治的かつ道義的な責任は重い。

Ishikawa left the DPJ after his indictment. Many people, both inside and outside the party, are calling on Ozawa to resign as a Diet member or voluntarily leave the party. "[Mr. Ozawa] must make clear his course of action as a politician," Prime Minister Naoto Kan has said.
 石川議員は起訴後、民主党を離党した。小沢氏についても、菅首相が「政治家としての出処進退を明らかにすべきだ」と語るなど、党内外には、議員辞職や自発的な離党を求める声が少なくない。

We believe it is high time for Ozawa to sincerely consider taking such political responsibility.
 小沢氏は、そうした政治的なけじめをつけることを真剣に検討すべき時ではないか。

Another problem is Ozawa's failure to fulfill his responsibility of explaining his stand on the political funding scandal in the Diet.
 小沢氏がこれまで、国会での説明責任を果たそうとしてこなかったことも、問題である。

Ozawa held a press conference late last year and expressed his intention to attend the lower house Deliberative Council on Political Ethics to provide explanations.
 小沢氏は昨年末、自ら記者会見し、衆院政治倫理審査会への出席を表明した。

Nevertheless, he has kept on putting off his attendance. He has set such preconditions as saying he would attend the ethics panel only if his attendance would help promote Diet deliberations because top priority must be placed on passing the budget through the Diet.
ところが、「予算成立が一番大事で、国会審議を促進するなら」といった条件を付け、出席を先送りし続けている。

In the end, he prioritized the logic of self-protection.
 結局、自己保身の論理を優先したということだ。

The DPJ leadership's handling of this matter has come into serious question.
 民主党執行部の対応も、厳しく問われている。

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Sworn testimony necessary
 ◆証人喚問が欠かせない◆

Kan and DPJ Secretary General Katsuya Okada intended to have the political ethics panel vote before the ordinary Diet session convened to require Ozawa to appear before the panel. However, they were forced to abandon this plan due to resistance from pro-Ozawa party members and other factors.
 菅首相や岡田幹事長は、通常国会召集前の政倫審開催の議決を目指したが、小沢氏を支持する民主党議員らの抵抗などで、断念せざるを得なくなった。

Since its inauguration in June last year, the Kan administration has been trying to have Ozawa appear in the Diet to explain the political funding scandal. At a New Year's press conference, Kan expressed his determination to resolve politics-and-money problems this year.
 小沢氏の国会招致は昨年6月の菅政権発足以来の懸案だ。首相は今年の年頭記者会見でも、「政治とカネの問題にけじめをつける年にする」と明言している。

Nevertheless, the prime minister has failed to unify opinions within his party and has been unable to open the political ethics panel. This is yet another example of Kan's talking the talk but not walking the walk. This calls into question the administration's problem-solving ability.
 それなのに、党内の意思統一さえ図れず、政倫審を開けないようでは、まさに「有言不実行」である。政権としての問題解決能力に疑問符がつく。

As long as Ozawa does not heed his own party's wish for him to attend the political ethics panel, Kan should proactively have Ozawa appear in the Diet by summoning him as a sworn witness, as demanded by the opposition bloc. It would also be worth Kan's consideration to heavily punish Ozawa by, for example, telling him to leave the party.
 小沢氏が政倫審出席という民主党の方針に従わない以上、菅首相は、野党の要求する小沢氏の証人喚問に同意し、国会招致の実現に積極的に動くべきだ。小沢氏に対する離党勧告などの重い処分も、検討に値しよう。

The focus in the upcoming Ozawa trial will be testimony by witnesses including Ishikawa, who stated during police investigations that Ozawa was involved in the political funding irregularities. While prosecutors did not highly value Ishikawa's statement, saying it lacked substance, the committee for the inquest of prosecution attached importance to the statement, calling it reliable.
 小沢氏の公判の焦点は、捜査段階で小沢氏の関与を認めた石川議員らの供述調書の評価だ。検察は「具体性に欠ける」と評価しなかったが、検察審査会は「信用性がある」と、起訴議決の根拠として重視している。

However, Ishikawa is set to vigorously contest the voluntary nature and credibility of his own statements, insisting that investigators induced him to say certain things in questioning. Other secretaries may do the same.
 これに対し、石川議員らは「取り調べで誘導があった」と主張し、調書の任意性や信用性を徹底的に争う構えを見せている。

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Tell truth in court
 ◆法廷で真実を語れ◆

The court-appointed lawyers acting as prosecutors in the trial will need to find and present circumstantial evidence to supplement their testimony.
 検察官役の指定弁護士は、供述を補強する状況証拠を積み重ね、示していく必要があろう。

Ozawa has repeatedly criticized the committee for the inquest of prosecution, claiming that it is covered by a veil of secrecy and describing it as an extraordinary system in a democratic society.
 小沢氏は、検察審査会について「秘密のベールに包まれ、民主主義国家の中で特異な制度だ」などと繰り返し批判している。

However, committee members receive advice from lawyers in making their decisions, and make judgments based on law and evidence. The three court-appointed lawyers in the Ozawa case spent three months undertaking supplementary investigations.
 だが、検察審査会は、審査補助員の弁護士の助言を受け、法と証拠に基づいて判断している。3人の指定弁護士も、3か月にわたり補充捜査を重ねてきた。

Ozawa criticized the committee without understanding the system's objectives, and we find his criticism has gone too far.
 小沢氏の批判は、検察審査会制度の趣旨を理解しないもので、行き過ぎだろう。

Ozawa's trial is expected to start in summer or later. Ozawa clearly stated that he would tell the truth in an open court until all the people in the country are convinced. He should sincerely put his words into practice.
 小沢氏の公判は、夏以降に始まると予想される。小沢氏は「公開の法廷で全国民が分かるまで真実を述べる」と明言した。その言葉を誠実に実行すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 1, 2011)
(2011年2月1日01時19分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2011-02-02 04:31 | 英字新聞

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