Ex-Tokyo Games Exec Takahashi Refuses to Testify in Court Hearing

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Former Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee executive Haruyuki Takahashi on Wednesday refused to testify at a court hearing for a defendant accused of giving bribes to him.

“I can’t answer any questions because I’ve decided not to testify at all,” Takahashi, 79, said when he appeared as a witness in the trial for 58-year-old Yoshikazu Taniguchi, a former executive at Daiko Advertising Inc., in Tokyo District Court.

The Criminal Procedure Code allows witnesses to refuse to give self-incriminating testimony. Takahashi has been indicted for allegedly receiving bribes linked to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games held in 2021.

Asked by a prosecutor his current occupation, Takahashi declined to answer and explained that it is a delicate issue given his upcoming court hearing. He did not answer further questions.

When presiding Judge Masaru Nomura asked if answering the questions may lead to a conviction, Takahashi avoided responding directly, saying only, “In any case, it is very delicate.”

The high-profile corruption scandal surrounding the Tokyo Games led to the indictment of 15 people, of whom 10 were given suspended guilty rulings that became final. Takahashi’s first hearing is scheduled for Dec. 14.