The Japanese establishment closed ranks around the disgraced former bosses of the Olympus cameras giant yesterday, refusing to jail them for one of the country's biggest corporate scandals.
The $1.7bn (£1.1bn) accounting fraud resulted in the firing of its whistleblower chief executive, Michael Woodford.
Despite the prosecution seeking jail sentences of up to five years for former chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, vice-president Hisashi Mori and audit officer Hideo Yamada, the trio, who pleaded guilty, were given suspended sentences. Tokyo district judge Hiroaki Saito said they had inherited the fraud.
Olympus was fined the equivalent of £4.6m for the scandal, which at one stage wiped $7bn off the value of the company as shares collapsed.