Ex-TEPCO Execs Plead Not Guilty over 2011 Meltdowns

Society

Tokyo, Nov. 2 (Jiji Press)--Three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. <9501> pleaded not guilty over the 2011 meltdowns at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in the first appeal trial hearing Tuesday.

The trial at Tokyo High Court started after a 2019 district court ruling found the three--former Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 81, and former executive vice presidents Ichiro Takekuro, 75, and Sakae Muto, 71--not guilty of professional negligence resulting in death and injury.

Katsumata did not attend Tuesday's hearing, citing health issues.

The three had been indicted in 2016 by lawyers appointed to act as prosecutors after a prosecution inquest panel comprising ordinary citizens overrode twice public prosecutors' decisions not to charge them.

In the nuclear accident, the power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, had an unprecedented triple meltdown after it was hit by the March 2011 massive earthquake and tsunami.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press