Group files for inquest panel review of Abe's case

A citizens' group has filed for an inquest panel review of a decision by prosecutors not to charge former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo for alleged violations of the political funds control law.

The group told a news conference on Monday that the prosecutors' decision involved serious factual errors and was unjust.

Tokyo prosecutors brought a summary indictment against a secretary to Abe in December. The secretary was accused of failing to report about 30 million yen, or roughly 290,000 dollars, in revenue and spending for parties held for Abe supporters. The failure to mention the sums in political funds reports occurred from 2016 to 2019.

The parties were held on the eve of the annual government-funded cherry blossom viewing events hosted by Abe.

The secretary was ordered to pay a fine of 9,700 dollars.

Prosecutors did not indict Abe, citing a lack of evidence proving that he was aware of the improper reporting or that he had conspired with the secretary. They said Abe's office in his constituency was in charge of accounting for the parties.

The citizens' group is one of several which had originally filed criminal complaints against Abe.

Group leader Takeuchi Satoru said the public is not convinced that the secretary alone is responsible.

The panel is made up of randomly selected citizens. It will decide whether the prosecutors' decision was appropriate.