Former Japanese Internet tycoon announces release from jail on Twitter

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's one-time maverick Internet tycoon Takafumi Horie used Twitter Wednesday to announce his released from prison after serving nearly two years for accounting fraud.

True to form, the flamboyant dotcom entrepreneur used the social networking site to disclose that "I was released on parole at about 7:40 am!"

More tweets followed, with the fallen head of Internet service provider Livedoor saying he planned to hold a news briefing later in the day and adding: "Wicked. I'm busy doing business, etc.!"

The University of Tokyo literature dropout became a household name with his entrepreneurial style that broke the rules of corporate Japan and made him a hero to many young people. He has more than 900,000 Twitter followers.

Mr Horie, now 40, has long insisted he is a victim of the establishment.

He was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail by the Tokyo district court in 2007 for falsely reporting a pre-tax profit of five billion yen (S$75 million) to hide losses at his company.

A high court appeal the following year was rejected, and the supreme court upheld his conviction again in 2011.

As he headed to prison that year, Mr Horie sported a Mohawk-style haircut and gave a news conference wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words "Go to Jail" from the Monopoly board game.

It also listed failed big companies whose executives were not imprisoned.

Mr Horie also vowed a comeback at the time, taking his impending prison sentence in his stride. "I want to reset my life and then come back. That's what I'm thinking," he said.

Livedoor has been integrated into online game and web service firm NHN Japan.

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