TOKYO: Former Japanese internet entrepreneur Takafumi Horie has blamed his company's erstwhile finance chief for the accounting fraud of which he stands accused.

Horie has consistently denied any wrongdoing in the alleged securities violations scandal which engulfed his online shopping group Livedoor earlier this year [WARC: 24-Feb-06].

Giving evidence for the first time at the trail, Horie laid responsibility at the feet of Ryoji Miyauchi, dubbing him the "basic leader" of the alleged plot to falsify figures and boost the company's stock price. Miyauchi has admitted the charges together with three other former executives.

Horie told the court that he had no knowledge of fraud at the company which he founded and said he had not been in complete command of its activities.

He said: "It's not true that I knew everything about the whole group. I was especially keen on the businesses which were losing money. There is no need to pay attention to businesses which have earned money."

Horie, who was regarded as a colourful maverick in the usually staid Japanese business climate, faces up to five years in jail if found guilty.

The trail continues.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff