TOKYO: Tokyo District Court on Thursday sentenced a former employee of SoftBank Corp. to two years in prison, suspended for four years, over a leak of confidential corporate information to a Russian diplomat in Japan.
The court also ordered Yutaka Araki, 48, former chief of the major Japanese mobile phone carrier’s mobile information technology promotion headquarters, to pay a fine of 800,000 yen.
The defense side had admitted to the charges of obtaining confidential documents in violation to the unfair competition prevention law.
The prosecution had sought a prison term of two years and a fine of 1 million yen.
“Trade secrets on radio networks, which are an important social infrastructure, were infringed on,” judge Ryota Akamatsu said. “The criminal acts were artfully done and were malicious.”
The judge, however, handed down a suspended sentence to Araki, taking into account that he had no criminal record and showed remorse for his actions.
Araki had confessed that he received a total of 400,000 yen as a reward for the information.
He said that, while he refused once to give the information, he later thought he wanted to help the diplomat out.
According to the court ruling, Araki accessed a SoftBank server using an office computer on Feb. 18, 2019, and March 26 in the same year to illegally obtain three confidential files.
The then Russian diplomat, suspected of talking Araki into obtaining the information, left Japan in February this year.
Papers on the Russian man were sent to Tokyo public prosecutors for allegedly instigating Araki in violation of the unfair competition prevention law, but the case was later dropped.