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Court to rule on Olympus execs in July

Kyodo

The Tokyo District Court will hand down rulings July 3 on former Olympus Corp. Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa and two other defendants who have been accused of covering up the company’s massive investment losses.

The financial scandal came to light in October 2011 when then Olympus President Michael C. Woodford, a British national, blew the whistle on dubious accounting related to the manufacturer’s corporate acquisitions.

The two other defendants are 68-year-old Hideo Yamada, a former Olympus standing auditor, and 55-year-old Hisashi Mori, a former vice president of the optical and electronic equipment maker.

All three have pleaded guilty. As the trial phase ended Tuesday, Kikukawa, 72, apologized for causing trouble to many people.

Prosecutors are seeking five years in prison for the three defendants and a fine of ¥1 billion for the company.

The three former executives and Olympus are accused of falsifying financial statements for fiscal years 2006 to 2010 by overstating the company’s net assets by ¥41.6 billion to ¥117.8 billion to cover up investment losses.

Olympus President Hiroyuki Sasa, who attended the final trial session, said he and all employees will make every effort to restore public trust in the company.