Suspended jail sentences for ex-Olympus execs

A Japanese court has handed suspended sentences to three former Olympus executives accused of engineering accounting fraud at the camera and medical equipment maker.

Former chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, ex-Vice President Hisashi Mori and former Auditor Hideo Yamada pleaded guilty last year to charges of falsifying accounts to cover up huge losses.

Mr Kikukawa and Mr Yamada were given three-year sentences and Mr Mori a two-and-a-half-year sentence.

Prosecutors had asked that a five-year jail term be given to Mr Kikukawa.

Olympus was ordered to pay 700 million yen in fines for its role in what is one of the biggest financial frauds in Japan's history.

It came to light in 2011 when then CEO Michael Woodford was sacked after challenging Mr Kikukawa and the board over what he considered to be suspiciously large payments related to acquisitions.

It led to an investigation which revealed a cover-up of losses dating back to the 1990s.

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