Call for a new Schmidheiny asbestos trial

Last year's acquittal of Schmidheiny of any responsibility for the deaths of almost 3,000 people prompted an outcry Keystone

An Italian state prosecutor has called for a re-trial of Swiss industrialist Stephan Schmidheiny for his part in the deaths of factory workers exposed to asbestos.

This content was published on February 23, 2015 - 21:39 and agencies

Raffaele Guariniello on Monday lodged the request with the justice authorities in Turin, accusing Schmidheiny of premeditated murder in the case of 258 people, according to the Italian Ansa news agency.

They lived in regions where the Eternit Genoa Group, with Schmidheiny as main shareholder until 1986, had asbestos factories.

Guarinello’s move was expected as he announced last year to pursue the case.

Last November, Italy’s Supreme Court acquitted Schmidheiny of any responsibility for the deaths of almost 3,000 people. The judges ruled that the statute of limitations had passed in 1998.

The verdict had prompted an outcry from trade unions, environmental organisations and relatives of the victims.

A lower court had found him guilty in June 2013 of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced him to 18 years in prison and fines of up to €90 million ($102.4 million).

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