Disgraced Olympus Corp decided on Wednesday to set up a special committee to consider possible legal measures, such as criminal charges and civil suits, against those responsible for hiding investment losses dating back to the 1990s, Kyodo news agency reported.

An independent panel issued a damning report on a $1.7 billion accounting scandal at Olympus the previous day, urging legal action against rotten executives responsible for the cover-up and the replacement of other board members.

The six-man panel found no link with organized crime, however, an outcome that might help the 92-year-old maker of cameras and endoscopes remain listed on the Tokyo stock exchange and survive a scandal that ranks among Japan's worst.

(Reporting by Linda Sieg and Mayumi Negishi; Editing by Joseph Radford)