Anri Kawai shows solemnity, determination as husband refuses to testify

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Anri Kawai (internet photo)

By Tammy Hosokawa

Tokyo- (PanOrient News) The imprisoned Anri Kawai, 47, accused of violating election law, appeared at the Tokyo District Court on Thursday for her hearing in which her husband Katsuyuki Kawai, 57, former justice minister and a lawmaker at the House of Representatives, appeared as a witness.

As soon as the prosecutor asked Kawai about his districts in Hiroshima, located in the western part of Japan, the lawmaker raised his hand and declared loudly to the judge: “Your Honor, I do apologize for the confusion I caused by dismissing my defense team and within my new team, we have not had any discussions yet. I do want to say I, myself, am criminally charged so I am not going to answer that question. I will testify at my own trial.”

During the entire examination by the prosecution, which was frequently interrupted by objections from Anri’s defense team, Katsuya refused to answer most questions. Anri, wearing a red high-neck sweater and dark grey pantsuit, looked solemn and distraught throughout the entire hearing, except when she conversed at the end with her attorneys and they exchanged smiles.

She did show emotion, however, when her husband was about to be escorted into the courtroom, at which point she stared intensely down at the door. The couple never looked at each other.

The cross examination for her husband will be held on Friday at 10 a.m. for the unique trial – a success story of a lawmaking couple turned into a nightmare in prison under the Japanese Public Offices Election Act.

Whether or not Kawai will answer questions put to him by his wife’s defense team will be the focus of the hearing.

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