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An optimal multiuser receiver is proposed for asynchronous coherent optical pulse code division multiple access (OCDMA) systems. The key advantage within the system is that the interference cancellation can be performed in the electrical domain. After describing the system implementation, the validity of the cancellation technique is theoretically proven, and a numerical evaluation for the system performance is given. The predicted system performance offers a theoretical basis for the consideration of coherent OCDMA systems for use in high-capacity optical fibre networks.