Fired Olympus Chief Meets With Tokyo Prosecutors

Posted November 24th, 2011 at 3:30 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

The ousted chief executive of Olympus Corporation met with Japanese prosecutors Thursday to discuss the accounting scandal that has rocked the giant camera and medical equipment company.

British-born executive Michael Woodford told reporters outside the Tokyo prosecutors' office he was looking forward to the meeting but declined to discuss details of what he would discuss.

Woodford was fired last month after he questioned a series of suspicious deals, including a $687 million payment to an obscure company for financial advice. Olympus has since admitted the deals were used to disguise massive financial losses on investments made in the 1990s.

The deals also included the acquisition at inflated prices of three smaller companies whose businesses were unrelated to Olympus' core operations.

The scandal has left doubts about the company's ability to survive, though share prices rose by more than 17 percent Thursday following reports of Woodford's appearance at the prosecutors' office. The French news agency quoted him saying he had files he wished to give to the prosecutors.

The scandal has also raised wider questions about the state of corporate governance in Japan.