Making his first TV appearance in more than 10 months, former Livedoor prexy Takafumi Horie spilled the beans on his former plans to buy Sony but denied any knowledge of the financial shenanigans for which he is standing trial in Tokyo.
Asked by TV Asahi interviewer Soichiro Tahara on Sunday if he ever had any intention to buy Sony, Horie said, “Yes, we thought of it. As for the question of whether or not we could have done it, we definitely could have.”
He said that, after buying Sony, he planned to quit as Livedoor prexy and go on to other endeavors.
“Buying Sony, you become No. 1 or No. 2 in the world — that’s the time to quit, I think,” Horie said.
Horie also denied Livedoor chief financial officer Ryoji Miyauchi’s witness stand claims that he supervised an accounting scheme to falsely boost profits and Livedoor’s share price.
“The whole case is cooked up by prosecutors — Miyauchi probably thought that that once he was arrested he couldn’t help (but collaborate), but he knew nothing,” he said.
Horie also claimed that Miyauchi, once the No. 2 man in the company, embezzled Livedoor profits to support two households, one headed by an unidentified lover.
“I’m the one you ought to feel sorry for,” he said. “I’m the one who got ripped off.”
Horie, Miyauchi and other Livedoor execs were arrested in January on charges of falsifying financial information in violation of Japan’s securities laws.
Livedoor, a onetime Internet powerhouse that was a darling of investors, made a well-publicized attempt in 2005 to buy a radio broadcasting affiliate of the Fuji TV web as a preliminary to taking control of the web itself.