Kikukawa, along with former executive vice-president Hisashi Mori and Hideo Yamada, a former Olympus auditor, were arrested in February in connection with a suspected breach of Japan’s Financial Instruments and Exchange Act.

The three could face up to 10 years in jail after pleading guilty to filing false financial statements, reported the Financial Times and numerous other news sources overnight.

Asked to comment on the news, Olympus Tokyo spokesperson Hiroko Kuno told Amateur Photographer: ‘As they do not belong to Olympus any longer, we are not in a position to make any comments on their indictment.’

Speaking earlier this year, Olympus scandal whistleblower Michael Woodford said the arrests were vindication for four months of ‘hell’.

Woodford, a Briton, was sacked from his position as CEO last October after challenging board members over suspicious financial transactions.

Olympus as a corporation also faces charges and a possible fine of more than 100m yen (around £790,000), according to Japanese press reports.

In response to the charges, Olympus Tokyo spokesperson Hiroko Kuno added: ‘After conferring with our legal counsel, we have confirmed that the facts presented in the indictment are true.

‘We take this indictment extremely seriously, and remain determined to move forward with our ongoing management reforms to rebuild the Olympus company.’

The trial, which opened today, is taking place at the Tokyo District Court.

Olympus is this week reportedly close to announcing a capital tie-up with Sony.

In June, Woodford won £10m in an out-of-court settlement after he took legal action against Olympus for unfair dismissal and loss of earnings.