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Japan Olympics chief investigated for corruption linked to 2020 Games

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By way of Reuters

PARIS – The president of Japan’s Olympic Committee, Tsunekazu Takeda, is below formal investigation by way of French prosecutors for suspected corruption associated with Japan’s a hit bid to host the 2020 Olympic Video games, a French judicial supply mentioned on Friday.

The supply mentioned Takeda, a retired equestrian sportsman, used to be indicted closing month by way of the nationwide monetary prosecutor’s place of work in Paris. Prosecuting pass judgement on Renaud Van Ruymbeke suspected Takeda of paying bribes to safe Japan’s successful bid.

In Tokyo, Takeda mentioned no mistaken movements akin to bribery had taken position in reference to Tokyo’s video games bid and he had now not been indicted by way of French government.

Jap Olympic Committee president Tsunekazu Takeda in Tokyo on Jan. 19, 2018.Toshifumi Kitamura / AFP – Getty Photographs

Beneath French regulation, indictment way he’s now being handled as a “formal suspect” however a complete indictment comes handiest as soon as the case goes to courtroom.

“I say sorry for the large worries which have been delivered to the folks of Japan, who’ve given such a lot make stronger to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, and with a purpose to put each doubt to relaxation I intend to proceed cooperating with investigations,” he mentioned.

The Global Olympic Committee (IOC) mentioned it were in shut touch with French judicial government. Its ethics committee has opened a record at the case and would meet afterward Friday.

“Mr Takeda continues to benefit from the complete presumption of innocence,” the IOC mentioned in a remark.

Takeda may be an IOC member since 2012 and heads its advertising and marketing fee.

In 2016, French prosecutors introduced an investigation into greater than $2 million of bills made by way of the Jap bidding committee to a Singaporean consultancy company, Black Tidings.

In 2017, Takeda and several other others had been voluntarily wondered by way of Jap prosecutors on the request of French government in terms of the bills, Kyodo Information company reported on the time. Takeda and the others had denied any wrongdoing, Kyodo mentioned.

Black Tidings is headed by way of Ian Tan Tong Hon, who’s carefully related to Papa Massata Diack, the son of disgraced former world athletics leader Lamine Diack, who’s himself dealing with corruption fees.

Jap officers mentioned on the time the 2 bills had been reliable guide’s charges, and a panel commissioned by way of the Jap Olympic Committee mentioned in September 2016 that it had discovered the bills to be reliable.

Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike mentioned she used to be “very stunned” by way of the scoop of the investigation.

Takeda, 71, has lengthy been concerned within the Olympics motion, having competed as a display jumper within the 1972 and 1976 video games. His great-grandfather used to be the Emperor Meiji and he’s the present emperor’s 2nd cousin.

He has been a member of the Jap Olympic Committee since 1987 and its president since 2001, serving to to coordinate the arrangements for a number of Wintry weather Olympics as a senior member of the Global Olympic Committee (IOC).

Takeda attended a rite in Tokyo on Friday at the side of former top minister Yoshiro Mori, the president of Tokyo 2020, in line with Mori’s place of work.

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