A Japanese court has acquitted three high officials of negligence in the only criminal case linked with the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster eight years ago.
The accident occurred when in 2011 a tsunami hit the Tokyo Electoric Power plant during which 18,500 people died or went missing, while 470,000 residents were evacuated. The Fukushima disaster is considered as one of the worst disasters after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear meltdown.
79-year old former Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 69-year old Vice President Sakaw Muto and Ichiro Takekuro, aged 73, were accused of failing to implement measures after the tsunami, leading to the death of 44 persons.
The prosecution in the case argued that the company had been warned for long that a tsunami may hit the plant, however it failed to increase safety measures.
However, the Japanese court rejected the argument and acquitted the three officials who faced a five-year prison term if found guilty.
The company is also facing civil cases for compensation to persons who allegedly became sick due to the emission of nuclear material.
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