Whistleblower at Olympus calls for answers

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The Independent Online

Michael Woodford, the sacked chief executive of Olympus who blew the whistle on a $1.7bn (£1.1bn) accounting scandal, yesterday urged the company to mend its ways at its annual shareholders' meeting, and demanded to know why he had been ousted.

As 1,000 investors in the endoscope and camera company approved a new board at the meeting, Mr Woodford said that the group's refusal to explain his sacking "will constitute clear grounds for this EGM to be later cancelled in court.

Since he was fired in October, Olympus has admitted carrying out fraud to conceal massive investment losses under a scheme going back two decades. Prosecutors in Japan, the UK and the US are investigating. Seven people have been arrested, including a former Olympus chairman.

Mr Woodford, who is suing Olympus as well as writing a book about his time there said it was a "mockery" to claim it was making a new start. Olympus' new president will be Hiroyuki Sasa, a 30-year veteran of the company, and its new chairman is Yasu-yuki Kimoto, 63, a former executive at its main lender, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group.