Yoshiaki Murakami, the founder of Japan’s best-known investment fund, intends to plead not guilty to insider trading charges despite admitting to them at the time of his indictment, judicial sources said Saturday.

Murakami’s lawyers informed officials of the Tokyo District Court and public prosecutors of his intention when the three parties met Friday to discuss how to proceed with the upcoming trial, the sources said. The court has yet to decide the exact date the trial will open.

The lawyers also asked the court to hold a pretrial proceeding to clarify points of contention so the trial can move quickly, the sources said.

The 47-year-old Murakami was released on bail shortly after his indictment in June.

According to the indictment, Murakami acquired about 1.93 million Nippon Broadcasting System Inc. shares from Nov. 9, 2004, through Jan. 26, 2005, for some 9.95 billion yen, based on a tip obtained Nov. 8, 2004, from Livedoor Co. that it would try to buy a 5 percent or greater stake in the radio firm.

At the time he was indicted, investigators said Murakami had admitted to most of what was presented in the charges.

However, Murakami now intends to testify that he obtained the insider information in late January 2005 when Livedoor formally decided to buy into the radio firm, much later than Nov. 8, 2004, as stated in the indictment.

He is expected to argue that he purchased almost all of the Nippon Broadcasting System shares prior to having access to the insider information.

The Securities and Exchange Law bars investors from taking advantage of insider information.

A person who violates the law faces up to three years in prison or a fine of 3 million yen.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.