The executives involved in the scandal surrounding Japanese camera maker Olympus have been given suspended sentences for their role in the accounting fraud.
Former Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, who was forced to resign over accounting irregularities, was given a suspended three-year jail sentence for his part in the $1.7 billion cover up. Former executive vice-president Hisashi Mori was given a three-year suspended sentence and Hideo Yamada, a former auditing officer, was given a two-and-a-half year suspended sentence.
All three pleaded guilty last year to falsifying accounts and hiding huge losses at the firm over a period of more than 20 years. The fraud came to light in 2011 after Michael Woodford, the company's CEO, blew the whistle on the company. Woodford was subsequently sacked and he sued Olympus for unfair dismissal. He settled his suit with the company last year.
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Contacted by CNBC on Wednesday, Woodford declined to comment on the sentencing of his former colleagues.
"I've written and spoken extensively about the Olympus scandal. The lessons of this sad tale should be obvious to anyone who is paying attention, and I do so hope that people in Japan are paying attention," he said.