Judge rules trio ‘could not have foreseen the earthquake and tsunami’
THREE former Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) executives have been acquitted of failing to prevent the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in 2011, despite reportedly having been aware of the tsunami risks.
This was the only criminal case to result from the disaster. Two previous attempts to file criminal charges against Tepco failed as Tokyo prosecutors declined to indict the employees. However, in 2015 a judicial review panel of ordinary citizens ruled that it should go to trial. In 2016, former Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, and former Vice Presidents Sakae Muto and Ichiro Takekuro were charged with professional negligence resulting in death and injury. This included 13 people who were injured during hydrogen explosions at the plant, and 44 elderly people who died as a result of evacuations from hospitals. The trial began in June 2017, with three state-appointed lawyers acting as prosecutors.
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