Former Olympus bosses are held


"After going to hell and back this is a day to remember," said fired Olympus boss and whistle-blower Michael Woodford yesterday after seven executives who were involved in the cameras company were arrested in Japan.

He said he felt vindicated after Tokyo prosecutors held Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, former chairman of the scandal-struck company, and two other now-departed board members — former executive vice president Hisashi Mori and former auditor Hideo Yamada — on suspicion of their alleged role in a £1.1bn accounting fraud.

Mr Kikukawa resigned in October just after Woodford claimed he was fired for asking questions about dubious book-keeping.

Police also arrested ex-Nomura bankers Akio Nakagawa and Nobumasa Yokoo and two other individuals suspected of having a role in one of Japan's biggest corporate scandals.

Olympus initially denied the allegations of improper accounting.

Later, however, the company admitted to hiding losses for the past 20 years.

The camera group is now suing 19 former and current executives, including its present president, Shuichi Takayama, for damages worth ¥3.61bn (£29.6m).