Ex-head of scandal-hit school operator, wife granted bail
Japan Today -- May 26
The former head of a school operator at the center of a scandal involving its discounted purchase of state land was granted bail Friday along with his wife, about 10 months after being arrested on suspicion of fraudulently receiving public subsidies.

The Osaka District Court rejected a complaint lodged by prosecutors against its decision on Wednesday to allow Yasunori Kagoike, the 65-year-old former chief of Moritomo Gakuen, and his 61-year-old wife Junko out on bail.

The couple came into the spotlight over the operator's purchase of the state land in Osaka Prefecture to build an elementary school, of which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's wife Akie was named honorary principal.

The government offered the land at less than a seventh of the appraisal price, ostensibly to cover the cost of removing waste buried at the site.

Akie Abe resigned from her post after the controversial deal was revealed. Kagoike has claimed that as an acquaintance, he was given special treatment in the deal.

The prime minister has denied that either he or his wife was involved.

The Kagoikes have been held at the Osaka detention center since their arrest on July 31, 2017, on unrelated charges, including defrauding the central and local governments of 170 million yen ($1.55 million) in school subsidies.

At a press conference held Friday evening, Kagoike said their detention was politically motivated and challenged Abe's version of events. "As a statesman, he should tell the truth fair and square," he said.

While Kagoike declined to discuss his own case, he called the charges against his wife, who began sobbing at one point in the press conference, "false accusations."

学校法人「森友学園」の籠池前理事長夫妻が25日、10カ月ぶりに保釈されて「小学校建設を諦めない」と語りました。

News sources: Japan Today, ANNnewsCH
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