Seoul: Top Japanese swimmer Naoya Tomita was given the green light Tuesday to leave South Korea after paying a one million won ($950) fine for stealing a journalist's camera during the Asian Games.
Senior South Korean prosecutor Song In-Taek said Tomita, who had been barred from returning to Japan while his case was investigated, had deposited the fine on Monday. "Now he doesn't need to stay in the country.
He can return home," Song said. Japan expelled Tomita from the Asian Games and promised strict punishment after he admitted stealing the $7,600 camera, belonging to a journalist for a South Korean news agency.
Tomita was detained after police studied images from closed circuit TV cameras at the pool in Incheon. The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) called the incident a "very serious violation" of its code of conduct and Japan Swimming Federation director Masafumi Izumi said Tomita would be "dealt with severely."
Tomita finished fourth in the 100 metres breaststroke final on Wednesday. He won the 200m breaststroke title at both the Asian Games and the world short-course championships in 2010.
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