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Appeal Filed against 3 Ex-TEPCO Execs over Nuclear Crisis

Tokyo, Jan. 24 (Jiji Press)–Lawyers acting as prosecutors Tuesday appealed to the Supreme Court against a not guilty verdict for three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. over the 2011 nuclear crisis.
The lawyers took the action after Tokyo High Court dismissed their appeal against a Tokyo District Court ruling that acquitted the three–former Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 82, and former Executive Vice Presidents Ichiro Takekuro, 76, and Sakae Muto, 72–of charges of business negligence resulting in death and injury.
Last week, the high court said it was “reasonable” for the district court to conclude that the three were not able to foresee a tsunami big enough to require a suspension of TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 1 plant at the center of the crisis.
The plant in northeastern Japan had an unprecedented triple meltdown after being struck by the March 2011 massive earthquake and tsunami.
The high court said the former executives could not have predicted the huge tsunami because a long-term evaluation by a government body was not reliable, upholding the lower court’s ruling.


February 3, 2023 Posted by | Fuk 2023 | , , | Leave a comment

Trial for compulsory prosecution of TEPCO’s former management team: Appeal by designated attorney acting as prosecutor

January 24, 2023
On January 24, a designated attorney acting as a prosecutor appealed to the Supreme Court against the decision of the second trial court, which handed down an acquittal following the first trial, in the trial of three former TEPCO executives who were forcibly indicted on charges of manslaughter over the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident.

Tsunehisa Katsumata, 82, then chairman of TEPCO, and Ichiro Takekuro, 76, and Sakae Mutoh, 72, then vice presidents of TEPCO, were forcibly indicted on charges of manslaughter by the prosecutors’ panel for causing the deaths of 44 people, including hospital patients in Fukushima Prefecture, during evacuation from the nuclear accident.

The first trial court acquitted the three, and the Tokyo High Court, the court of second instance, in a ruling on the 18th of this month, followed the first trial court in acquitting all three, ruling that “it was impossible to predict the arrival of a huge tsunami and that there was not enough duty to stop the operation of the plant to avoid the accident.

Dissatisfied with this decision, the designated lawyer acting as the prosecutor appealed to the Supreme Court on March 24.

At a press conference held after the High Court ruling, the designated attorneys criticized the ruling, saying, “The ruling is tantamount to saying that there is no need to take measures against unknown earthquakes and tsunamis that have not been scientifically elucidated.

Nearly 12 years after the nuclear accident, the trial will now move to the Supreme Court.

TEPCO apologizes once again for the inconvenience and concern it has caused to so many people. We will refrain from commenting on the appeal. 8

February 3, 2023 Posted by | Fuk 2023 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Prosecutors appeal TEPCO acquittal in Fukushima case

September 30, 2019
TOKYO (AP) — Prosecutors in the only criminal trial involving the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown appealed Monday against the acquittal of three former Tokyo Electric Power Co. executives.
The Tokyo District Court on Sept. 19 found ex-TEPCO chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata and two others not guilty of professional negligence in the disaster and the death of 44 elderly patients who were forcibly evacuated from local hospitals.
The court said a tsunami of the size that hit the plant after an earthquake was unpredictable and the executives weren’t required to take additional measures or to stop the reactors under government safety standards at that time. Ensuring absolute safety at nuclear plants was not a government requirement then, it said.
Lawyers representing thousands of disaster-hit residents said the prosecution appealed Monday.
“Many people, especially the residents who were hit by the accident, found the ruling unacceptable,” Yuichi Kaido and three other lawyers for the residents said in a statement. They said the lawyers and supporters have collected more than 14,000 signatures calling for the appeal.
A trial date has yet to be set.
The prosecution during the district court trial argued that TEPCO could have prevented the disaster had it told the plant to install safety measures before the tsunami, and demanded five-year prison terms for Katsumata, 79, and his two co-defendants, Sakae Muto, 69, and Ichiro Takekuro, 73.
The three men pleaded not guilty at the trial’s opening session in June 2017, saying predicting the tsunami was impossible.
The prosecution has also said the three defendants had access to data and scientific studies that anticipated the possibility of a tsunami exceeding 10 meters (33 feet) that could trigger a loss of power and a severe accident. TEPCO was considering taking measures by 2008 or 2009, but the executives allegedly delayed the idea to avoid additional spending just as TEPCO was repairing another nuclear plant damaged in a 2007 earthquake.
More than eight years after the disaster, the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant has been stabilized and is being decommissioned — a decades-long process that is still in an early stage. TEPCO has spent 9 trillion yen ($83 billion) on compensation related to the disaster. It needs to spend an estimated 8 trillion yen ($74 billion) to decommission the plant and 6 trillion yen ($55 billion) for decontamination.

October 8, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment