The Straits Times
Published on Sep 25, 2012

Olympus former executives plead guilty in scandal trial


TOKYO (REUTERS) - Three former executives of Japanese camera and endoscope maker Olympus pleaded guilty on Tuesday after being charged in connection with a US$1.7 billion (S$2.1 billion) accounting cover-up in one of the biggest corporate scandals in Japan.

Prosecutors charged ex-chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, former executive vice-president Hisashi Mori and former auditor Hideo Yamada with inflating the company's net worth in financial statements for the fiscal years ended March 2007 and 2008, in violation of the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law.

"The full responsibility lies with me and I feel deeply sorry for letting down our business partners, shareholders and the wider public," Mr Kikukawa told the Tokyo district court at the start of the trial.

"As the president of the company I take full responsibility for what happened," he added.