Last updated at 12:03 GMT, Friday, 17 February 2012

Olympus camera scandal

Summary

17 February 2012

The former Chairman of Olympus cameras and two other former executives have been arrested. The company has admitted it hid more than $1.5 billion in investment losses. The scandal was revealed by Olympus's British CEO Michael Woodford who says he was fired for questioning past transactions.

Reporter
Roland Buerk

Tsuyoshi Kikukawa

The former chairman of Olympus has been arrested

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The arrests are the latest step in investigations by the Japanese authorities into one of the country's biggest corporate scandals.

The former chairman of Olympus Tsuyoshi Kikukawa is being held under suspicion of violating the Financial Instruments and Exchange law.

The company's former executive vice president and its former auditor have also been arrested.

An independent panel set up by Olympus blamed the men for orchestrating the cover-up of more than $1.5 billion in investment losses.

The company has lost nearly half its value since the scandal became public last October.

Olympus is suing 19 current and former executives.

And there's speculation it may need to merge or form new alliances with its rivals to rebuild its battered balance sheets.

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Vocabulary

corporate scandals

events which cause public disgust. Here connected to companies.

under suspicion

people think he is responsible

violating

breaking

auditor

person whose job is to examine business accounts

orchestrating

arranging

cover-up

attempt to stop people discovering a crime

suing

making a legal claim for money from someone who has harmed you

speculation

guessing

alliances

agreements to work with other organisations or people

battered

hit repeatedly